Taiwan’s China Airlines to resume seasonal Sydney-Christchurch flights

Update:25 May 2015

 Leading Taiwanese airline China Airlines has expanded its Christchurch service nearly 50 per cent next summer after a successful 2014/15 season.

The three month service which operated in December, January and February will be expanded by a couple of months, meaning the thrice weekly service will run for 22 weeks instead of 13 between Taipei and Christchurch via Sydney.

China Airlines New Zealand branch general manager Shirley Yang said the inaugural summer service went very well. "(It) was our most successful sector on our global network at that time, so it was an easy decision to expand the service next summer," Yang said.

The continued service will operate three times a week return from Taipei to Christchurch, it was announced at the Trenz 2015 tourism conference in Rotorua on Monday.

Christchurch Airport chief commercial officer, aeronautical Justin Watson said the airport was happy with the increased service from China Airlines to Christchurch. He was confident the service would be further expanded in future.

Those travelling on the 2014/15 service had been evenly split between Taiwanese, Kiwis and Aussies, and other nationalities such as those travelling from the United Kingdom on to New Zealand. For 2015/16 he expected a higher proportion of Taiwanese given the extra time China Airlines had to promote the flights.

"The ever-increasing number of Asian travellers wanting to experience the South Island is very positive for the regional economies of the South. It is estimated that the value of the Taiwanese visitors carried over the summer by China Airlines was in excess of $15 million."

Statistics showed that about 75 per cent of international visitors arriving into Christchurch visit other regions in the South Island. This dispersal rate compared well against those from other international airports such as Auckland, Watson said.

SOURCE: www.stuff.co.nz

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