Thanks to the Mayor

In China, Mayors are extremely important, so cementing a political relationship in Guangzhou was an important aspect of securing the air service.

Guangzhou is the Garden City of China, so that gave us something more in common, and over the past year, the Mayor of Christchurch and the Mayor of Guangzhou have hosted each other and built a working relationship.

"We are extremely grateful that our Mayor supported both the airport and the South Island," says airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns. "The relationship she has formed with her counterpart has been invaluable in building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between China Southern Airlines and the South Island."

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she has enjoyed the part she has played.

"I have been able to support Christchurch Airport and the South Island build strong social, cultural and commercial links with Mainland China. It's been a pleasure getting to know major travel sellers, such as GZL Travel of Guangzhou  which our airport has a strategic partnership with. I very much look forward to personally welcoming the first scheduled flight between China and the South Island on December 16."