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New Zealands first commercial Dreamliner flight touches down at Auckland Airport

October 29, 2013 Airport No Comments Email Email

The arrival today of a China Southern Airlines Boeing 787 has seen Auckland Airport welcome New Zealand’s first commercial Dreamliner flight.

The aircraft, and the 11 China Southern Airlines dignitaries and nine Chinese media on board it, were welcomed by Associate Tourism Minister, Chris Tremain, and Auckland Airport’s new Chairman, Sir Henry van der Heyden.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner replaces the A330 currently used on the daily Guangzhou to Auckland route, and increases China Southern Airlines’ seat capacity by almost 5% per annum.

China Southern Airlines will fly a second Dreamliner aircraft to Auckland for the peak summer period from 4 December to 1 March, meaning the number of weekly flights on the Guangzhou-Auckland route will soon increase from seven to 10.

Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says China Southern’s decision to use its Dreamliner on the Auckland route, coupled with the increase in weekly flights, heralds strong Chinese passenger arrival growth with significant benefits for the New Zealand tourism industry.

“China Southern Airlines’ commitment to use the Dreamliner on this route, as well as the increase to 10 flights per week, indicates long-term growth potential for not only China, but also for China Southern Airlines as a global carrier,” says Mr Wedlock.

“The daily arrival of this new aircraft also provides a snapshot of what we will see from Chinese air travel in the future, in particular the importance of our relationship with the Guangdong region as an Asian hub for New Zealand aviation.”

“The Dreamliner delivers significant benefits; including additional seats, 20% more cargo revenue capacity, and increased fuel efficiency which means the aircraft is better for the environment,” says Mr Wedlock.

Mr He, China Southern Regional General Manager Australia New Zealand, says that the Dreamliner offers an extensive range of advantages to the passenger, improving the overall comfort and convenience of the service.

“These aircraft are the latest from Boeing and offer fully lie-flat seats in Business Class and seat-back TVs throughout,” says Mr He.

“The sleek Dreamliner is a whole new generation of aircraft from Boeing, offering all the latest mod-cons and a three cabin configuration, with a total of 228 seats, including four seats in first class, 24 in business class seats and an economy cabin with 200 seats.”

Today’s arrival of the China Southern Airlines Dreamliner at Auckland Airport follows the announcement in July this year that New Zealanders can transit Guangzhou for 72 hours without an entry visa.

Mr Wedlock says, “The new visa waiver allows passengers to leave the airport and explore the Guangzhou region without having to get a visa. This is fantastic for Kiwi travellers as they can now experience Guangzhou on their way to another destination, without the hassle of obtaining a visa.”

“The visa waiver also helps China Southern Airlines cement Guangzhou’s position as a new transiting hub, connecting Australasia with Europe and America.”

“Guangzhou is the third largest city in China and the combination of the Dreamliner and the new visa waiver is a very positive step towards opening markets between our two nations.”

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