New Seoul-Christchurch charter service to meet demand

Demand from Korean travellers wanting to tour the South Island has led to a new charter service for the coming summer.

From December 2 to January 28, Asiana Airlines will fly a weekly service between Incheon, Seoul and Christchurch Airport, to bring 2500 visitors to the South Island.

The airport's Chief Commercial Officer - Aeronautical, Justin Watson, says the nine weeks service is a direct response to requests from South Korean travel agents.

"The Korean travel agents consistently get requests for direct flights to the South Island, so eight of them have worked Asiana to put the charters together," he says.

"The flights have just gone on sale and are getting good uptake, with high interest from visitors wanting to travel outside the main centres to see the lakes, mountains, glaciers and open spaces of the South Island.

"Like us, the agents know how much Korean travellers want to visit the South Island. It's not the first Korean airline to fly here, but will be the first time Asiana has flown to New Zealand."

Statistics show that in the 12 months to end of June, 21,000 Korean visitors flew into Christchurch.  That's up 29% on the previous year and higher than the national growth rate of 24%.

Asiana Airlines will operate a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft on the charter flights, as part of the airline's global reach to 24 different countries and 74 cities.

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