Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

New Chinese airline swoops into Auckland

A Tianjin Airlines A320 aircraft. The airline will fly larger A330 jets between Tianjin, Chongquing and NZ three times a week from December. Photo / byeangel from Tsingtao. Creative Commons.
A Tianjin Airlines A320 aircraft. The airline will fly larger A330 jets between Tianjin, Chongquing and NZ three times a week from December. Photo / byeangel from Tsingtao. Creative Commons.

Another Chinese airline is heading to Auckland.

Tianjin Airlines will from December start flying year round between Tianjin, Chongqing and Auckland three times a week using an A330 aircraft.

Tianjin Airlines is a full service Chinese airline with a fleet of 89 aircraft that fly to more than 100 destinations. The airline was established in 2009 and was awarded Best Regional Airline in China by SKYTRAX in 2011.

With a population of more than 15 million people, Tianjin is the largest coastal city in northern China. Chongqing is a major economic centre of the Yangtze basin and has population of more than 30 million people.

Auckland Airport's general manager - aeronautical commercial, Norris Carter, said the airport was delighted by Tianjin Airline's announcement.

"Regional China is a rapidly developing source market for New Zealand tourism and these new routes flying directly to Auckland provide another option for Chinese visitors to experience New Zealand."

Auckland Airport estimates that Tianjin Airlines' new service will add 83,000 seats to the China to Auckland route every year and will provide a $102 million boost to the New Zealand tourism industry.

Last summer Air China and China Eastern began regular services and China Southern has stepped up capacity to New Zealand. In November, Hong Kong Airlines will start flying between that city and Auckland.

A growing number of new carriers is putting pressure on Air New Zealand which announces its full-year profit on Friday.

China is New Zealand's second biggest source of tourists, after Australia.

- NZ Herald

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