Christchurch Airport is welcoming the potential trebling of
passenger flights between China and New Zealand.
Chief Executive Jim Boult, currently in Indonesia as a member of
the Prime Minister's trade mission, says this afternoon's
announcement by Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee is great news for
our travel and tourism industries.
"We are a distant market for the rest of the world, so any
agreement making it easier for airlines to come to New Zealand is
very encouraging", says Mr Boult.
"Our team at Christchurch Airport is engaged in positive
discussions with China Southern in China this week and currently
hosting an Air China plane while His Excellency Jia Qinglin visits.
We hope our current conversations will result in direct flights to
Mr Boult says Chinese visitors are very keen to see the South
Island's famous scenery and experience southern hospitality.
"Christchurch Airport is the gateway to the South Island and
travellers arriving here tell us they love flying in over the
mountains they came to see," he says.
"Many international travellers book their trip to New Zealand
with the expectation of seeing our stunning scenery - mountains and
lakes. They get the promise of that as they fly in to
Mr Boult says the increased ASA agreements will reinforce New
Zealand's free trade approach and make it easier for more South
Island exporters to transport their products to the global market.
"We need to grow in-bound arrivals and the import/export market for
New Zealand," he said. "I'm delighted at this news and trust
new agreements can be made quickly."