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Auckland Airport welcomes daily flights to Guangzhou

Auckland Airport welcomes daily flights to Guangzhou by China Southern Airlines

• Will deliver major economic benefit to New Zealand
• First daily-direct route between mainland China and New Zealand
• More China – New Zealand connections now than ever before
• Supported by improved New Zealand visa processing to help growth

Auckland Airport today welcomed the news that from 1 November 2011 China Southern Airlines is increasing its flights between Guangzhou to Auckland to a daily service from three times a week currently.

Auckland Airport general manager aeronautical commercial, Glenn Wedlock, said, “This is great news for the travel industry and should provide an estimated $100 million boost to the New Zealand economy. The new China Southern Airlines services arrive just in time for our high season and after the Rugby World Cup will help us continue to drive the 20% plus growth we have been seeing in this market.”

China Southern Airlines’ New Zealand general manager, Henry Dai, said, “We are very pleased with the success of our service so far, and we are excited about the potential for growing the travel and trade partnership between China and New Zealand even further. This new daily service will add another 90,000 seats per year, and reflects the high market demand we have already experienced and the confidence we have in the future.”

The daily flights will be serviced by brand new, four-cabin layout aircraft that will come into use from 1 September 2011. The new aircraft will provide an enhanced passenger experience, including luxurious first class and business class seats.

Mr Wedlock said, “The Free Trade Agreement and other Government initiatives around visa processing, air-services policy, tourism partnerships and trade development have been instrumental in building a market structure for growth as demonstrated by the $410 million in expenditure from Chinese visitors for the year ended June 2011.

“The increase in services from China Southern Airlines, along with the expanded Air New Zealand services from December, will open up more of China to New Zealand tourism and trade than ever before, and should help push China ahead of the United States as our third largest tourism market in the very near future.”

Auckland Airport has been very focused in recent years on growing connections between New Zealand and China in order to capture more of the growth expected out of this booming market.

Mr Wedlock said, “China and its people are increasingly important to New Zealand. In 2011 the number of Chinese visitors into Auckland Airport grew 26.5% on 2010 figures, and we expect that growth trend to continue. Chinese visitors are also high-value, spending on average around $300 per night, more than European, North American and other Asian tourists.”

Tourism trends and industry research now indicate an increasing number of Chinese travellers who are high net-worth, have high-spending patterns and are prepared to pay premium prices for a high-quality, unique tourism experience or product. This fits perfectly with New Zealand’s quality tourism proposition, such as that found in premium visitor destinations like Auckland and Queenstown.

Mr Wedlock said, “China is a key market where we are looking to build high value travel to New Zealand with our joint marketing campaigns. The June 2011 Hurun Report indicated there are now over 950,000 millionaires in mainland China so there is a fantastic opportunity to build tourism and trade values to New Zealand by targeting this market.”

ENDS

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