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Internat'l destinations increase for S Islanders

6 October 2006

Media release

International destinations increase for South Islanders

South Islanders are set to benefit from a new shuttle service linking travellers directly with international flights from Auckland.

The daily Air New Zealand Boeing 737 service will connect travellers from Christchurch with flights departing to London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Apia, enabling them to check in internationally at Christchurch International Airport, and transfer directly to their waiting flight in Auckland. Likewise, South Islanders returning on Air New Zealand’s early morning flights from North America, Perth and Tonga, will be able to connect directly with the service to Christchurch.

Outbound travellers and inbound New Zealand tourism operators alike are set to gain from the new service.
“This new service is of great strategic importance to the South Island, providing excellent opportunities for tourism,” said Christchurch International Airport Ltd CEO Rene Bakx. “Cantabrians and travellers from throughout the South Island will benefit from the reduced time spent waiting at Auckland, with significant time savings for passengers who would otherwise need to use domestic links. In addition to the 10 direct services already on offer from Christchurch International Airport, this provides an effective ‘one stop’ service to many more international destinations”.
Chris Griffin, General Manager Marketing for Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism, says that the improved connectivity to international markets will provide considerable benefits for the region. “The shuttle service allows the Christchurch and South Island destinations to be accessed directly by international visitors, encouraging extended South Island itineraries and improved visitor flow throughout the country," says Mr Griffin. "Direct international flight access is invaluable for our activity in target markets. Having this shuttle service will communicate a strong message that we're easy to get to, and will in turn encourage longer stays in our region."

Air New Zealand’s Group General Manager Short Haul Airlines, Norm Thompson said the move was aimed at better supporting customers from Christchurch who travelled on Air New Zealand’s international flights via Auckland.

“The fact that they will be able to transit in Auckland before their onward travel instead of having to transfer themselves and their luggage between the domestic and international terminals, will make their experience significantly easier,” said Mr Thompson.

Passengers will be checked through in Christchurch and on arrival at the international terminal simply transfer to their onward gate lounge. Likewise returning customers will transfer to the gate for their Auckland - Christchurch flight and clear customs on arrival in Christchurch.

Details of the new daily service, effective from 30 October (northbound) and 31 October (southbound) are as follows:

Depart Christchurch 8.45 pm Arrive Auckland 10.05 pm
Depart Auckland 6.40 am Arrive Christchurch 8.00 am


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