Air New Zealand to begin Beijing route in 2008

By Sineva Toevai

Air New Zealand will fly non-stop to Beijing from July next year in an effort to boost the national carrier's footprint in China.

Flights on the airline's new Boeing 777-200ER planes will depart from on Auckland on Wednesdays and Fridays and Beijing on Thursdays and Saturdays, chief executive Rob Fyfe said at a Star Alliance meeting in Beijing.

"The new service is part of the airline's continued drive to expand our presence in mainland China, and we expect it to generate a high level of interest," Mr Fyfe said.

Auckland-based Air New Zealand expects the Olympic games in Beijing next August will generate "strong demand" for its new service.

Last year, Air New Zealand began a direct service to Shanghai, home to 17 million people.

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