New China services boost capacity
Two announcements this week will see air capacity between China and Auckland increase significantly.
Air NZ and Air China
Air New Zealand and Air China have released details of a proposed alliance on services between China and New Zealand.
The alliance, subject to regulatory approvals, would see Air China introduce a daily direct service between Beijing and Auckland. The Chinese flag carrier would also continue to codeshare on Air New Zealand’s daily Shanghai – Auckland service which will be operated exclusively by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from late August.
The proposed alliance would further open up Beijing as a new market to and from New Zealand and the airlines aim to almost double their sustainable capacity between China and New Zealand while delivering a range of other benefits to travellers including greater frequency and network connections.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the alliance with Air China will see two home carriers with complementary strengths at each end of the route working together to drive traffic in both directions. Read more.
China Eastern Airlines
Meanwhile, China Eastern Airlines will fly year round between Auckland and Shanghai as air links between the two countries expand rapidly, reports the New Zealand Herald.
The four flights a week service will start in September.
China Eastern operated a seasonal service for the first time on the Auckland-Shanghai route from December last year to this month and that proved successful enough to step it up to year-round.
Auckland Airport's General Manager Aeronautical Commercial Norris Carter say the service will add 100,000 seats per year on the route, contributing an estimated $122 million to the New Zealand economy.