Recovering Japanese visitor numbers are
prompting Air New Zealand to operate Boeing 747-400 aircraft on
the Tokyo route following five years absence.
declined steadily from a high of 165,000 in 2004 down to about
78,000 in 2009 before growing 12% to 87,700 in 2010 with the help
of additional Air New Zealand charter flights and increased
Air New Zealand will increase capacity by 25%
this coming summer on scheduled services between Tokyo's Narita
Airport and New Zealand through the use of the 379 seat Boeing
Air New Zealand currently operates 304 seat Boeing
777-200 aircraft daily between New Zealand and Tokyo's Narita
Airport (Auckland return four times per week and Christchurch
return three times per week). Boeing 767-300s are used between New
Zealand and Osaka-Kansai Airport five times a week.
Switching the Tokyo route to a 747 will
provide more than 1,000 additional return seats per week over the
Air New Zealand's Deputy CEO, Norm Thompson,
said, "The move demonstrates Air New Zealand's
confidence in the growth potential of the Japan tourism market.
The success of special charter flights this summer suggests the
Japanese market is experiencing a strong recovery. Air New Zealand
is currently operating 14 special return charter flights from nine
departure points between the end of December and the beginning of
April 2011. That's triple the number we ran last year."
The Japanese are the
highest spending visitors to New Zealand, spending an average of
$4,550 per person. Nearly 88,000 Japanese visited New Zealand in
2010, spending a total of $362 million.
The extra capacity
will be deployed on the Tokyo route next summer between December
2011 and February 2012.
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