Air New Zealand is, subject to normal government
and landing slot approvals, to add two additional direct services
each week between New Zealand and China in response to 20% growth
in international visitor numbers from China.
The airline is looking to add an additional
Auckland - Beijing return service from 6 December 2011 and an
additional Auckland - Shanghai return service over the peak summer
season from 11 December through to 18 March 2012.
Air New Zealand currently operates two return
Beijing services a week (Wednesday and Saturday) and three return
Shanghai services a week (Monday, Thursday and Friday).
new Sunday Shanghai service and Tuesday Beijing service mean the
airline will be offering daily direct services, offering more than 4,250 seats per week between New Zealand and China.
Zealand Deputy CEO Norm Thompson said, "The China market has
enormous potential for us as an airline and for the New Zealand
tourism industry as a whole. New figures from the International
Air Transport Association (IATA) show China is the fastest growing
market in the world for international passenger traffic and it's
important that we're well positioned to respond. Offering a daily direct service is an important step."
China is New
Zealand's fourth largest tourism market and one of the fastest
growing. Tourism from China is forecast to continue growing by an
average of 8.4% per annum between now and 2016. 122,000 Chinese
visited New Zealand in 2010, up 20% on the previous year. Collectively Chinese visitors to New Zealand spent $382 million in
the year to September 2010.
Tourism New Zealand Chief
Executive Kevin Bowler says the additional services will help
deliver record numbers of visitors from China to New Zealand.
"Attracting visitors from China is vital to New Zealand's tourism
growth over the coming years. Expectations are that the number of
international departures from China will double over the next five
years. Tourism New Zealand is committed to developing further
opportunities in China and the wider Asian region. I'm confident
that there is significant potential for us to attract longer
staying and more valuable visitors from China," he said.
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