New Airline for Auckland International Airport
The first direct air service from mainland China to New Zealand will begin this week.
The inaugural flight of China Southwest Airlines is due to arrive at Auckland International Airport on Saturday, 31 July at 11 am.
“We are particularly pleased to welcome China Southwest Airlines to Auckland on this historic occasion”, says Auckland International Airport Ltd’s managing director, John Goulter. “The People’s Republic of China has the potential to develop into a significant tourist market for this country given the size of its population. As an accredited tourist destination of the Chinese Government, New Zealand is well positioned to benefit from the emerging trend for Chinese to travel to more distant destinations.”
Initially, the airline will fly from Beijing into Auckland just once a week. One week it will stop en route in Shanghai, while the following week it will stop at Guangzhou. From October, the airline is planning to increase its service to two flights a week, one via Shanghai and the other via Guangzhou.
For its service to Auckland, China Southwest Airlines will be using an Airbus A340 – 300 which seats more than 300 passengers and is one of 42 aircraft which make up the airline’s fleet. Founded in October 1987, the airline flies internationally from China to Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Singapore and now New Zealand. Together with its domestic services, China Southwest Airlines carries more than six million passengers a year.