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Current as of 19/12/14 07:40PM NZST

Airport unveils Chinese language flight boards

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Auckland Airport's new display boards show flight details in Mandarin as well as English.
Auckland Airport's new display boards show flight details in Mandarin as well as English.

The growing number of Chinese visitors passing through Auckland Airport can now see flight arrival and departure information displayed in Chinese.

Auckland Airport announced today that it had installed new software allowing its Flight Information Display boards (FIDS) to show information in multiple languages.

The airport said it was the first New Zealand airport to go down this route.

All Chinese flight information will be now be displayed in both English and Chinese, with other languages to come later, said spokesman Richard Barker.

"China is our second largest visitor market in terms of volume and value to the New Zealand economy," Barker said.

"It was therefore an obvious choice to become the first foreign language displayed on our new FIDs."

Figures released yesterday showed 21,200 people from China visited New Zealand in September, up from 14,000 a year before.

Auckland Airport announced in August that, following growth of 26.5 per cent in the year to just on 200,000, China had surpassed Britain to be Auckland's second-largest source of international passengers after Australia.

Chinese visitors spent two-and-a-half times more than the average passenger at retail outlets at the airport.

Barker said rolling out the new multi-language FIDs was "perfectly timed" for the inaugural commercial flight next week of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on China Southern Airlines' daily Guangzhou-Auckland route.

Additional languages such as Japanese and Korean will be phased in shortly on the FIDS.

The airport has recently introduced other multi-language initiatives, including updating main directional signs to include Chinese text. It has also introduced Mandarin-speaking volunteers to help Chinese visitors.

New Zealand had a total of 2.670 million short-term visitors in the September 2013 year and Barker said more than 70 per cent of those entered or left through Auckland Airport.

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