ANZ China capacity ramping up as daily Shanghai flights resume

(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

The bustling cities of China are getting a whole lot closer to New Zealand as capacity between the countries expands this week. On 2 May, Air New Zealand’s alliance partner Air China will touch down in Auckland for the first time in three years, giving Air New Zealand customers a direct route to Beijing – the world’s most populous capital city. The next day, Air New Zealand’s Auckland-Shanghai flights return to daily.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty said the resumption of the Beijing-Auckland route and daily flights to Shanghai were major milestones for the airline and for New Zealand’s tourism industry as capacity to and from China ramps back up. “We’re thrilled to welcome our alliance partner Air China back to New Zealand and extend our Shanghai route to daily. China is a key market for us and the New Zealand tourism industry. The return of this route will help connect even more Chinese visitors with the amazing experiences New Zealand has to offer.”

A combination of the two services will deliver around 6,500 seats a week between Auckland and China. Pre-pandemic, China was New Zealand’s second-largest international visitor market, with 450,000 visitors in 2019 and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend, bringing in $1.5 billion.

The resumption of the Beijing-Auckland route is part of a strategic alliance between Air New Zealand and Air China. Geraghty said the partnership with Air China would help to stimulate tourism in New Zealand and aid the industry’s recovery. “China is an incredibly important inbound visitor markets, and we expect interest in visiting New Zealand to continue to grow among Chinese travellers. Our strategic alliance with Air China provides additional capacity and improved connectivity, helping us to meet demand and showcase New Zealand as a world-class tourism destination. We can’t wait to welcome back even more Chinese visitors to our shores and show them the warm and friendly hospitality that New Zealand is known for.”

Air New Zealand and Air China’s strategic alliance means that customers of both airlines enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, such as earning and spending loyalty points and lounge access. Air New Zealand customers also have access to Air China’s comprehensive network of more than 300 routes, while Air China customers have access to New Zealand destinations and its Pacific network.

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