Thousands more trans-Tasman seats into Christchurch next summer

More than 40-thousand extra seats will become available on trans-Tasman services into
Christchurch next summer.

Christchurch Airport is welcoming Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia highlighting its
commitment to Christchurch and the South Island with its just announced 13 per
cent increase in capacity.

The airport's General Manager of Aeronautical Business Development says the
airlines' announcement comes at a good time.

"The additional scheduled services across the Tasman from Brisbane, Sydney and
Melbourne into Christchurch come at a time when capacity is getting tight and
demand is now outstripping supply," says Matthew Findlay.

"International volumes to Christchurch returned to growth last October.  For the past six
months,  our international passenger movements have grown 4.7% over the
previous year and over the same time, planes across the Tasman have been their
fullest since 2010. Airlines are responding to the market and providing more
capacity where demand most needs it." 

Mr Findlay says the airport's analysis indicates Christchurch Airport had the
highest load factors into New Zealand for the most recent six month period,
October 2013 - March 2014.

He says the additional 43,000 seats over summer 2013/14 will provide a boost to
the local, regional and national tourism industry.

"Research has shown that of all international arrivals to Christchurch, 65% of arriving
passengers stay longer and spend more when they arrive in Christchurch. Our
arriving visitors tend to have a broader regional stay, so based on early
estimations and existing average spend, this new capacity could be worth an
extra $10m for the visitor economy this coming summer.  That's great news
for the recovering tourism sector in Canterbury and the wider sector in the
South Island."

Mr Findlay says statistics show continued strength in passenger movements between
Christchurch and international markets, with passenger counts up on last year
across many different nationalities. 

He says enhanced schedule spread to and from Sydney is great news for travellers
connecting there.

"It means business travellers, and people wanting to connect beyond Australia, now
will have increased choice.  Increases in services between Brisbane and
Melbourne will also please many travellers, as does the return of direct
Christchurch-Perth next summer."


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