Business / Companies

Hainan Airlines to launch direct China-New Zealand service in New Year

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-04 10:00

WELLINGTON - China's Hainan Airlines is to begin direct flights between Shenzhen, a major city in southern China, and Auckland from Dec 31, Auckland Airport announced Monday.

The inaugural flight would touch down on Jan 1, 2017, and the airline would operate three times a week between Shenzhen and Auckland using an A330 aircraft.

The new route was part of Hainan Airlines' international expansion plans, Auckland Airport general manager, aeronautical commercial Norris Carter said in a statement.

"This non-stop service will not only grow the number of visitors from southern China, it will also give Chinese travelers further connecting flight options to Auckland from other areas in China through the extensive Hainan Airlines' network," said Carter.

Auckland Airport estimated that the new service would add 81,000 seats to the China-Auckland route every year and boost the New Zealand tourism industry by NZ$102 million ($74.12 million).

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.

The airline has been operating for 23 years with 162 aircraft in operation and since 2011.

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