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China Southern extends New Zealand service on rising demand

Source:   Time:

WELLINGTON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand tourism officials are expecting a further surge in Chinese visitors after China Southern Airlines announced Wednesday it is to add another 45,000 seats to its Guangzhou-Auckland service next year.

The move would see China Southern extend its southern summer service of 10 weekly flights from the end of February to the end of October, said a statement from the airline and Auckland Airport.

China Southern announced in November last year that it was increasing the number of weekly flights on this route from seven to 10 over the peak summer period, but this was extended due to strong demand and growth of the Canton route services.

The additional flights would be serviced by the new Boeing 787 aircraft.

"The recent signing of a cooperation agreement between Auckland Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport will help to build air traffic on the Canton route across the Guangzhou hub and support the added flight frequency," Auckland Airport general manager aeronautical commercial Glenn Wedlock said in the statement.

"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."

In the year to the end of November, Chinese visitor numbers to New Zealand were up 18.7 percent to a record 231,120.

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