The very successful China Southern Airlines direct service
between Guangzhou and Christchurch is about to record another
The airline has just announced it will fly its new flagship
aircraft to Christchurch from October.
The 787-9 is the airline's newest state-of-the-art widebody
aircraft and has 30% more seats than the aircraft currently flying
the direct route, plus it will have a new business class cabin.
Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer,
Justin Watson, says the aircraft upgrade is likely to add an extra
$66million in visitor spend.
"This airport is still the fastest growing entry point for
Chinese visitors coming to New Zealand and growing at twice the
national average, plus statistics show visitors arriving here
internationally stay longer, see more and spend more," he says.
"This is a vote of confidence in the service and a big win for
international visitors, as well as South Islanders who book it to
travel quickly and easily to China and on to Europe.
"It also has a big upside for local exporters. The 787-9 will be
able to carry about three extra tonnes of air freight. That
extra three tonnes can roughly be the equivalent of $29,000 of
export value to the South Island on every flight. That's a
real bonus for the many southern producers already using this
direct air service to get produce including fresh seafood, meat,
dairy products, flowers and fruit to the lucrative Asian markets
quickly and in best condition."
The new aircraft will fly directly between Christchurch and
Guangzhou every day from late October to March 31 next year.
Facts about the China Southern Airlines787-9:
China Southern Airlines took delivery of the first 787-9
- Christchurch will be among the first international services
the airline will fly the new aircraft on
- The 787-9 offers 30% greater passenger and freight capacity
than the smaller 787-8 model it replaces
- The aircraft features 28 fully flat Business Class seats in
a 1-2-1 configuration, and 269 seats in a 3-3-3
- The aircraft will offer full Wi-Fi connectivity and
personal inflight entertainment