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25 Nov 2019

Charter service announced between Korea and the South Island

Korean Air will operate ten return services from December 27 between Incheon Airport, ranked the Best Airport Worldwide for 11 consecutive years, and Christchurch Airport, ranked Australasia's Best Regional Airport.

Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Justin Watson, says the service is a response to increasing numbers of Korean visitors coming to experience the South Island.

"Our Korean arrival numbers have grown 39 per cent over the past five years and this charter service is seen as a trial, which may lead to more flights the following year," he says.

"Analysis suggests the Korean visitors off the charter service will spend about $7 million during their time in the South Island, so it's a win-win for both the visitors and the island's regions."

The new service is the result of a concerted effort by the airport company, Tourism New Zealand and other government agencies working together with South Korean travel sellers.

Rene de Monchy, Director Commercial, Tourism New Zealand welcomes the announcement.

"Tourism New Zealand has increased its marketing effort and investment in South Korea to help stimulate demand for travel to New Zealand," he says. "This series of flights direct into the South Island will provide our Korean visitors greater choice and flexibility in travelling to New Zealand for their holiday."

Christchurch City Council's deputy mayor Andrew Turner also visited the airline's head office last year to support the call for the service. "I look forward to seeing the success of this new service and the benefits I am sure it will provide" says Councillor Turner.

"The importance of the Deputy Mayor visiting the airline for face to face discussions cannot be underestimated, because government support carries considerable weight in Asian countries", says Justin Watson.

"We have seen in the past how responding to overseas market interest can bring interested parties together to work for everyone's benefit", he says. "We look forward to welcoming the Korean Airlines' B777-ER with 291 seats in three classes (First, Business, Economy) when it lands for the first time on Christmas Eve."