|Charissa Echavez |||Oct 03, 2016 07:30 AM EDT|
(Photo : YouTube Screenshot) China’s Hainan Airlines is set to launch direct flights between Shenzhen and Auckland on Dec. 31.
China's Hainan Airlines is set to launch direct flights between Shenzhen and Auckland on Dec. 31, Auckland Airport announced on Monday.
Hainan Airlines' inaugural flight will touch down on Jan. 1, 2017, and it will offer the service three times a week using an A330 aircraft, according to Stuff.nz.
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The new service is part of Hainan Airlines' international expansion plans, Norris Carter, Auckland Airport's general manager - aeronautical commercial, said.
"This non-stop service will not only grow the number of visitors from southern China, it will also give Chinese travelers further connecting flight options to Auckland from each other areas in China through the extensive Hainan Airlines' network," Carter said.
"We are delighted to welcome Hainan Airlines to New Zealand and we look forward to welcoming their passengers and crew when they touch down in Auckland on 1 January."
Auckland Airport said the new route will add at least 81,000 seats between China and Auckland every year and will also boost New Zealand's tourism industry by $74.12 million, according to state-backed Xinhua News agency.
Meanwhile, Tianjin Airlines will also launch its new service to Auckland this December, marking the Chinese carrier's first Australia-Asia destination. The service will fly passengers between Tianjin, Chongqing, and Auckland three times per week using an A330 aircraft.
An estimated 83,000 seats will be added to the new China-Auckland route annually and will provide a $102 million boost in New Zealand's tourism sector.
A further boost in traffic from China will come in mid-November as Hong Kong Airlines start competing with Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific for a direct Auckland to Hong Kong flight.
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