Christchurch Airport is today celebrating the tenth anniversary
of the Emirates service which has expanded South Islanders' access
to the world.
Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says the Emirates service is very
popular and valuable to southern globetrotters.
"Publicly available statistics show Emirates has the highest
load factors on the Tasman into Christchurch," says Mr Johns.
"Over the past decade, Emirates has carried almost 1.5 million
people on the service and still enjoys very high demand into and
out of this airport.
"Based on conservative estimates, the Emirates service has
contributed more than $1.2bn of visitor spend over the past 10
years, so there is no doubt about the value of its service to
Christchurch, Canterbury and the South Island. The daily flights
bring visitors from a number of destinations worldwide to the South
Island, as well as taking South Islanders to explore the world and
transporting some of our best produce to foreign markets."
Emirates flies daily out of Christchurch Airport, to Sydney,
Bangkok and Dubai, with connections to 143 cities from there, so is
very popular for South Islanders travelling to the Middle East,
Europe, the UK and beyond.
"Ten years ago, the service began through Melbourne with an
A340-500 aircraft seating up to 270 passengers. Not long
after, the aircraft was routed through Sydney. Today the
larger B777-300ER operates on the route, offering a significant
opportunity to transport cargo to and from Canterbury and the South
Island," says Mr Johns.
He says Christchurch Airport is New Zealand's alternate arrival
point for the Emirates A380 aircraft, as demonstrated a year ago
when two landed here.
"The airport community was very excited when it learned the two
A380s were flying here," he says. "There were lots of people
around the airport to see and photograph the two spectacular
aircraft arrive here.
"This truly is a birthday worth celebrating and we look forward
to celebrating many more with Emirates, as a valued and committed
airline partner," he says.