More Dreamliner flights for Chinese New Year

The first commercial Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft run by China Southern Airlines lands in Auckland, New Zealand, last month. Photo/Greg Bowker
The first commercial Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft run by China Southern Airlines lands in Auckland, New Zealand, last month. Photo/Greg Bowker

China Southern Airlines is putting on extra Dreamliner flights to Auckland to meet high demand over Chinese New Year.

The airline will put on two extra flights at the end of January in addition to the 10 weekly Boeing 787 services it has during the December to March summer peak.

Auckland Airport's general manager aeronautical commercial, Glenn Wedlock, said the extra flights would provide an extra 900 seats during the Chinese festival and holiday period.

"Today's announcement confirms the long-term strength of the Chinese outbound market and New Zealand as a popular travel destination. It also signals the growing interest New Zealanders have in China as a travel destination."

Chinese passenger numbers to New Zealand fell by 11.6 per cent last month due largely to a new Chinese travel law curtailing lower value "shopping trips"which shifted demand forward into September.

"The new law has actually driven more growth towards the New Zealand direct services and away from dual destination services via Australia. This

significantly increases the high-value free independent Chinese travellers which stay longer and tend to visit more of New Zealand," said Wedlock.

China Southern Airlines New Zealand general manager, Mike Ma, said there had been a "very strong" booking pattern for the peak summer season.

Overall forward bookings have already reached more than 80 per cent and we are very confident that the strong growth will continue into the new year."

China Southern started using the Dreamliner on its Guangzhou-Auckland route on Labour Day.

- NZ Herald

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