Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight to Argentina has touched down at Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires.
NZ30 departed Auckland at 7.20pm last night and arrived in Buenos Aires at around 7.00am this morning New Zealand time, after a 12 hour flight across the Pacific.
In a colourful mix of cultures, passengers disembarking today’s flight – including special guests Air New Zealand ambassador Richie McCaw and Associate Minister of Tourism Hon. Paula Bennett – were treated to a rousing Whakatau welcome and a display of Argentinian tango dancing inside the terminal.
The inaugural marks Air New Zealand’s first scheduled service linking New Zealand and South America. The airline will fly between Auckland and Buenos Aires three times a week using its Boeing 777-200 aircraft offering award winning interior products including lie flat Business Premier beds and comfortable new Premium Economy seats. The new service also introduces Air New Zealand’s unique Economy Skycouch™ to the South American market for the first time.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says, “The airline’s new South American service makes it easier than ever for Kiwis to explore the bustling city of Buenos Aires and beyond to the rest of Argentina and wider South America. We’re confident it will stimulate two way tourism and trade between our two countries and build on the strong education and rugby links we already enjoy.
“Sales for the first few months have exceeded our expectations with a healthy spread of bookings originating in New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. A significant portion of the forward bookings heading to South America are from Australia, and this has been pleasing as it was a key part of the business case for this route.”
Air New Zealand flight NZ30 is welcomed to Buenos Aires.
Aerolíneas Argentinas has played an important part in making the service possible, and will code share on the Buenos Aires – Auckland route and on Air New Zealand’s trans-Tasman services to Sydney and Melbourne.
Air New Zealand is working closely with Tourism New Zealand to raise the profile of New Zealand as a holiday destination for South Americans. The inaugural flight from Buenos Aires to Auckland departs around 4pm today (NZ time) with a contingent of Argentina travel trade representatives and media on board who will spend the next few days discovering everything New Zealand has to offer as a tourist destination.
Today’s arrival into Buenos Aires kicks off a busy month for the rapidly growing airline. Next week Air New Zealand joins Air China to celebrate the inaugural flight of their alliance service between Beijing and Auckland and in two weeks’ time Air New Zealand will celebrate its inaugural flight to Houston, Texas, introducing direct travel into the heart of southern USA.
Last month, Air New Zealand also announced a new seasonal service to Vietnam, flying direct to Ho Chi Minh City from June 2016, bringing its total number of international destinations to 30.