Philippine Airlines will launch services to Auckland from Manila later this year.

It will be the first time the airline has ever operated in New Zealand.

Philippine Airlines will operate four A320 services a week from December 1.

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The flights will stop over in Cairns and provide competition to Air New Zealand on that route.

Auckland Airport's general manager aeronautical commercial, Norris Carter, said the airline's arrival was great news for the New Zealand tourism industry and the economy.

"This new service will see 64,500 seats per year on the Manila to Auckland route, contributing an estimated $41 million per year to the New Zealand economy."

New Zealand had experienced "solid growth" from the Philippines market in recent years.

The largest market of visitors from the Philippines was travellers coming to New Zealand to visit friends and relatives, followed closely by travellers coming for leisure.

"This new service will provide more options for these visitors when travelling to New Zealand and also for New Zealanders wishing to visit the Philippines."

The stopover in Cairns would be good news for Kiwis wanting to travel to the northern Queensland city and visitors from there wanting to travel to New Zealand.

The Auckland-Carins route is served by Air New Zealand now, also using an Airbus A320.

Philippine Airlines' president and chief operating officer, Jaime J. Bautista said the route would stimulate passenger traffic along three travel streams - Manila and Cairns, Manila and Auckland as well as Cairns and Auckland.

"With close to 40,000 Filipinos residing in New Zealand, the new service is their convenient link to their home country."

The flights are subject to regulatory approval.

The Herald last month reported the service was being looked at closely by the airline which operates a network of services within the Philippines as well throughout Asia, North America, Australia and the Pacific.

It has more than 70 planes including Boeing 777s and Airbus A340s.

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said then the Philippines was growing in popularity as a holiday destination for Kiwis.