29 Aug 2017
Daily flights to China a big boost for the South Island
The partnership between Christchurch Airport and China Southern Airlines is going from strength to strength and helping boost tourism and trade for the South Island.
The Chinese airline will increase its direct service from Guangzhou to Christchurch over the upcoming summer season, going daily from December 2, 2017 to February 26, 2018.
The extra flights will be on top of the previous announcement of five per week from October 10.
That means almost 12,000 extra international seats into and out of Christchurch over the peak summer season.
China Southern Airlines has just celebrated the 100,000 passenger milestone on the Christchurch-Guangzhou route, reached within 18 months of the service beginning in December 2015.
Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Justin Watson, says the airport and the airline are proud of both developments.
"The Dreamliner service is proving very popular and we look forward to continuing its growth to bring more visitors to the South Island, as well as connect South Island travellers to the rest of the world," he says.
"We know visitors arriving here are coming from Europe through China, and South Islanders are taking up the opportunity to fly from here to Europe with only one stop.
"Statistics show that on average as many as 25 per cent of the passengers on the China Southern service are from outside China, and are primarily New Zealanders, Europeans and Britons travelling the globe on Asia's largest airline."
Christchurch Airport continues to lead the country in growth of Chinese visitor arrivals, being up 13% for the year ending June compared to the total arrivals into New Zealand which was flat for the same period.