New Japanese charters for Christchurch

Christchurch Airport will welcome more Japanese travellers than ever this coming summer.

Twenty-two of 29 new charter flights from Japan will fly direct to Christchurch, bringing the majority of the 6000 Japanese visitors south.

Air New Zealand will more than double its summer charters between December and March and fly from eight Japanese cities.

Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult says the charter services are a response to market demand, so are sure to be well supported by Japanese travellers, who simply love the South Island.

"Japanese travellers book to visit New Zealand because of images of majestic mountains, glaciers, lakes, big blue skies and wide open space," says Mr Boult. "Of course all those sights and experiences are in the South Island.

"Visitors tell us the promise of those scenes and experiences starts to be delivered as they fly in over the Southern Alps to land at the airport. Their first holiday image of the mountains is taken through the window of the plane and the second is a similar shot taken from a window in our terminal.

"Add in the famous southern hospitality and you can see why Japanese visitors love coming here and go home to tell friends and family they must come south too."