- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 13th June 2017
- Auckland, Chengdu, new zealand, Sichuan Airline
June 2017 has seen the opening of a new direct service between Chengdu and Auckland, New Zealand, which will operate three times per week. The connection will see New Zealand’s largest city linked to one of China’s leading second-tier cities, which is situated in the heart of the south-western Sichuan province, which is home to 87 million people.
The new link will be served by Airbus A330-200 aircraft and is expected to provide 81,000 seats and bringing an additional 102 million NZD (ca. 74 million USD) to the New Zealand economy. Accordingly, Sichuan Airline is now the sixth carrier operating direct flights between China and New Zealand.
The extra flights come amidst strong growth in Chinese outbound tourism numbers to New Zealand; the year ending March 2017 saw 404, 384 recorded Chinese arrivals to New Zealand, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 7 percent. With a total spending amount of 1.4 billion NZD (ca. 1 billion USD) during that period, Chinese nationals were only second to Australians in terms of total tourism expenditure in New Zealand.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges highlighted that New Zealand’s ongoing liberalisation of its aviation policy with China plays an important role in the growth in air traffic from China, explaining: “We have negotiated 60 new or amended air services agreements since 2012, and in that time period, the number of services Chinese airlines can offer each week under arrangements between our countries has risen from 7 to 59”.
With 2019 set to be the China-New Zealand Tourism Year, discussions regarding a potential bilateral open skies agreement are also underway, mirroring the policy introduced by Australia in advance of the China-Australia year of Tourism 2017.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of regions, providing detailed insights and analysing visitor behaviour.
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Source: NZ Herald