Hainan Airlines launches first direct flight
The second Chinese airline within a week has today launched a new direct service from a major mainland city.
A Hainan Airlines A330 will fly three times a week from Shenzhen, an industrial centre near Hong Kong.
Auckland Airport says the new service, which comes after a new Tianjin Airlines direct flight from Tianjin and Chongqing last week, will add 81,000 seats a year and deliver an estimated $102 million annual boost to the economy.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical commercial, says the latest arrival caps off a year of significant growth for Auckland Airport.
“In the past 12 months New Zealand has welcomed more than 400,000 Chinese visitors – with almost 90% entering the country here at Auckland Airport,” he says.
“The Chinese market is integral to the New Zealand tourism industry’s growth objectives – and this new service provides a direct connection to a city of some 10.5 million, with convenient domestic connections to Beijing and throughout the Guangdong Province.”
Hainan Airlines is part of the HNA group and is the largest privately-owned air transport company and the fourth largest airline in terms of fleet size in China.
Shenzhen is the airport’s 49th international destination served by direct flights.
International passenger movements at Auckland Airport have increased by more than 11%. Total passenger movements for the past 12 months,according to the airport’s November’s monthly traffic update, have topped 18 million divided almost equally between domestic and international.