[photopress:air_new_zealand_1.jpg,full,alignright]Air New Zealand will have a new twice weekly direct Auckland-Beijing service. Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe and said the direct service would operate from July 18.
The service, subject to all necessary Chinese regulatory and operating approvals, would operate out of Auckland on Wednesday and Friday and out of Beijing on Thursday and Saturday using the airline’s new Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.
Rob Fyfe said the new service would build on the success of the airline’s Auckland-Shanghai service which was launched in November 2006.
He said, ‘Chinese visitor numbers to New Zealand continue to boom, increasing approximately 14% year-on-year, and its rapidly developing economy offers significant potential for both Air New Zealand and the broader New Zealand tourism industry.’
To provide sufficient capacity for the Beijing flights, the airline will cut its Auckland Shanghai service to three times a week until November 2008.
Rob Fyfe said from November next year the airline planned to operate five services a week to Shanghai, plus the two Beijing flights.
Group general manager international airline Ed Sims said, ‘Our direct Shanghai service was primarily aimed to serve its 17 million citizens. By offering a direct service to Beijing, we expect to gain a greater number of customers looking to travel to New Zealand from other parts of China, and from Europe. It will also provide Kiwis with an easy and convenient way to travel deeper into China.’