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China Southern Airlines Accelerates Direct Flights to Auckland

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China Southern Airlines has decided to launch its new Guangzhou to Auckland service in April 2011 direct, rather than via Melbourne as was originally announced on 13 December 2010.

"In line with our strategic focus, Auckland Airport is totally committed to growing the number of direct air links with China as quickly as possible to help ensure New Zealand gets its fair share of the fastest growing tourism market in the world,” said Auckland Airport chief executive, Simon Moutter. “Having one of the biggest airlines in the world going direct sooner than planned is a fantastic result that will drive more visitors here and offer them more time to see what our country has to offer."

The first of the three times a week direct services is scheduled to commence on 8 April 2011. Flights will depart Guangzhou at 23:50 and arrive in Auckland at 15:20 the next day. Flights will then depart Auckland at 22:00 and arrive in Guangzhou at 06:00 the next day. Flights will depart Auckland on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Mr. Tan Wan’geng, President & CEO of China Southern Airlines, confirmed the widespread support received from the New Zealand / Auckland tourism industry and government officials while in the country during December 2010 was pivotal to the airline’s decision to move immediately to direct services.

"The strong potential of the partnership between China and New Zealand was reinforced by everyone we met. This gave us the confidence that the New Zealand market opportunity will be a great success and can lead to even greater opportunities for China Southern Airlines and our partners in the region," said Mr Tan. "Although we always envisaged moving eventually to direct flights if the service via Melbourne proved successful, we have now decided to make this commitment from day one."

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