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Commentary

Flights between New Zealand and China are set to double under amended air services arrangements, says Transport Minister Simon Bridges.


“Airlines from both New Zealand and China will be able to offer 42 services per week, per country. This is up from the previous limit of 21 per week.


“The doubling of air services capacity represents another step in expanding tourism, trade and personal ties between our two countries,” Mr Bridges says.


Government officials negotiated the doubling of capacity at an International Air Services Negotiations conference in Indonesia last week. This followed Cabinet approval of negotiation parameters earlier this month.


“So far this year 252,000 Chinese visitors arrived in New Zealand by air. This compares to 108,000 Chinese visitor arrivals by air in 2009. With increased air services, forecasts indicate that 509,000 Chinese people will visit New Zealand by air each year by 2020,” Mr Bridges says.


Chinese airlines will operate a total of 21 services per week in the upcoming New Zealand summer peak period, with China Southern operating twice a day from Guangzhou to Auckland, and planning to operate three charter services from Guangzhou to Christchurch for Chinese New Year. China Eastern will operate daily services to Auckland from Shanghai. Air New Zealand will continue to operate a daily service between Auckland and Shanghai.


“The amended air services arrangement is a further reflection of the growing depth of New Zealand and China’s strong relationship,” says Mr Bridges.

Hon Simon Bridges