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Air New Zealand resumes flights to Osaka

New Zealanders keen to see the sights of Western Japan, including Osaka Castle, will be able to fly directly there three times a week from November. Photo / Lincoln Tan
New Zealanders keen to see the sights of Western Japan, including Osaka Castle, will be able to fly directly there three times a week from November. Photo / Lincoln Tan

Air New Zealand will resume a non-stop service between Auckland and Osaka, Japan from November, after suspending the services in 2013.

Three return services will be operated per week from November 2016 to March 2017 using Boeing 767-300 planes.

The flights will be on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and will take about 11 hours.

In 2013 Air New Zealand consolidated its services to Japan and suspended the Osaka route to focus on growing its Tokyo Narita services.

Air New Zealand chief strategy, networks and alliances officer Stephen Jones said the demand for flights between New Zealand and Japan had grown significantly.

"Japan is our fifth largest tourism market and visitor numbers to New Zealand from Japan were up 7.6 per cent to 87,328 for the year end December 2015."

The number of New Zealanders travelling to Japan grew 17 per cent to 29,400 for the year ending December 2015.

"For Kiwis looking to explore the historical and cultural areas of Western Japan, and nearby Kyoto, this service to Osaka will be very appealing," Jones said.

"Osaka will also increase the options for travellers connecting to other destinations within Japan and exploring more of the country.

"With this new seasonal offering, paired with our ten times weekly service between Auckland and Tokyo on the 787-9 Dreamliner, we're confident that we can meet the growing demand for travel to and from Japan.

Tickets will be available next month.

Tickets will go on sale next month at airnewzealand.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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