More air services a huge boost to the South Island economy

The leading airline in Taiwan, China Airlines, has just announced its first season of flying to
Christchurch has been so successful, it will expand the service for the entire upcoming summer.

The airline says the increased services - and thousands more seats - are a direct result of a
successful three-month service operated last December, January and February.

China Airlines New Zealand Branch General Manager, Shirley Yang, says "Our inaugural service last summer was a huge success for us. The Taipei - Sydney- Christchurch service last summer was our most successful sector on our global network at that time, so it was an easy decision to expand the service next summer.

"The service will operate three times a week from Taipei to Christchurch, via Sydney, and return the same way.  We are confident it will attract very high numbers of travellers, as
it did last summer. We expect to see increases in what we experienced last summer - East Asian travellers using the service to get to the South Island, as well as the Sydney connection being used by many travellers, including New Zealanders and Australians."

Christchurch Airport's Chief Commercial Officer - Aeronautical, Justin Watson, says the increased service is great news for the South Island.

"The ever-increasing number of Asian travellers wanting to experience the South Island is very positive for the regional economies of the South Island. It is estimated that the value of the Taiwanese visitors carried over summer by China Airlines was in excess of $15m.

"Official statistics reveal about 75% of international visitors arriving into Christchurch visit
other regions in the South Island - one of the highest dispersals in the country.

"Christchurch Airport has seen passenger numbers over the recent summer months grow well above the national averages. Statistics show more than 70% of the passengers on the China Airlines service are from North Asian markets, or further afield, highlighting the significant interest in the South Island from long haul markets.

"For South Islanders, China Airlines offers more choice and increased international connections. The airline is a member of the Sky Team Alliance, which means 20 member airlines offering more than 16,000 daily flights to more than 1050 destinations in 177
countries. Through China Airlines, South Islanders have connections to a vast number of destinations all over the world. 

"This service also brings another wide body aircraft into Christchurch, so helps exporters get high value/time sensitive air freight into the fast growing Asian markets quickly.
During China Airlines' operations to Christchurch last summer, airfreight volumes spiked 21%.

"The confirmation of the additional services will be a great boost to the regional economies of the South Island bringing in more visitors and providing improved freight services for South Island exporters."


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