China Southern adds 45,000 seats on 'Canton route'

Last updated 11:53 22/01/2014

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China Southern will boost capacity by 45,000 seats between New Zealand and Guangzhou by extending its current peak season schedule to the end of October.

The airline increased weekly flights to Auckland from seven to 10 last October, but strong demand means the schedule will become year-round.

Arrivals from China increased 18.7 per cent last year, and China Southern's announcement is in line with Auckland International Airport's goal to boost Chinese arrivals to 570,000 by 2020.

Auckland Airport recently signed a co-operation agreement with Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to help build traffic volumes on the Canton route to China and Europe.

Auckland International Airport aeronautical commercial head Glenn Wedlock said the airport had been wooing Chinese tourists to visit New Zealand as a single destinations, rather than as an add-on to an Australian holiday.

"This latest announcement from China Southern Airlines is a response to the high Chinese demand for direct New Zealand air services, as opposed to the more traditional one-stop Australia and New Zealand holidays," he said.

China Southern Airlines' Australasian general manager, Henry He, said the route had seen continued success and the extended peak schedule was a reflection of that.

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- Fairfax Media

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