Air New Zealand to launch direct Manila service in December
Air New Zealand [NZX: AIR] will further expand its Pacific Rim network with the launch of direct flights to Manila in the Philippines from December.
The new year-round service will operate three times a week using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with a flight time of around 10 and a half hours in each direction.
Auckland Airport’s general manager, aeronautical commercial, Norris Carter estimates the new service will annually deliver an additional 71,800 seats between New Zealand and the Philippines, and contribute $29 million in tourism spend to the New Zealand economy every year.
Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon says the airline expects the service to be popular at both ends of the route.
“The Filipino population in New Zealand has more than tripled since 2001 and is now the third largest Asian ethnic group, with 40,000 Filipinos resident in New Zealand," he says.
"The number of visitors from the Philippines is also continuing to grow rapidly, up more than 20% in the past year alone, so we’re anticipating that demand for this service will be steady in both directions.
“As the only non-stop service between New Zealand and the Philippines, our flight will be quicker and more convenient for travellers than the fastest current option which flies indirect, potentially saving up to two and a half hours each way."
Philippines Airlines launched its own four times weekly Manila-Auckland service in December via a stopover in Cairns, northern Queensland.
The addition of Manila brings the total number of Air New Zealand’s international destinations to 32. The most recent of these is Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, due to start mid-year.
Air New Zealand Chief Strategy, Networks & Alliances Officer Stephen Jones and Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations & Safety Officer Captain David Morgan talking about this new service.