Air China is flying four return services between Beijing and Auckland each week, flying on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Both airlines made the changes to their schedules last week, with around 6,500 seats available weekly between Auckland and China.
“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,” said Air New Zealand’s chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty.
Before the pandemic paused global travel, China was the second largest international visitor source market after Australia, with 450,000 Chinese visitors travelling to New Zealand in 2019, spending $1.5 billion.
“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,” said Geraghty.
“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.”
With a new focus from Tourism New Zealand’s business events team on incentives, the return of more seats between the two countries is a major advantage, with China typically being a strong incentive market.