China Airlines, Taiwan's leading airline, has announced a new international service from Taipei to Christchurch via Melbourne for the coming summer, complementing its existing
service from Taipei via Sydney.
The addition of this new service increases flights per week between Taipei and Christchurch to six for a 22 week summer season - three per week via Sydney and three per week via
Chairman of China Airlines, Huang-Hsiang Sun, says last summer's service was the airline's best performing service on its network at the time.
"Last summer's Taipei - Sydney - Christchurch service saw such high demand that we know offering more services for a longer time, through two Australian cities, will be well received. The South Island is in very high demand as a travel destination for people from Taiwan and Asia, but we also know many other travellers used the trans-Tasman service last summer and expect more to do so next summer."
Justin Watson, Chief Commercial Officer - Aeronautical at Christchurch Airport says the service will offer 40,000 new international seats between Melbourne and Christchurch.
"This new service is a significant vote of confidence from one of the world's leading airlines," he says. "It's great to see international carriers growing their support of the South Island with increased wide body air services - this is the first such service between Melbourne and Christchurch in more than a decade. It will create massive new passenger and freight opportunities and drive regional economic development into many regions across the South Island. China Airlines is one of the world's largest air freight carriers with an extensive network into Asia, across the Pacific and Europe."
Mr Watson says not only will this new service benefit the South Island's regional economies, it will also offer unprecedented international connections for South Islanders - from their nearest international airport.
"China Airlines is a member of the Sky Team Alliance, an alliance which includes 20 airlines offering more than 16,000 daily flights to over 1,000 destinations in 177 countries. Through China Airlines, South Islanders have connections to a vast number of destinations all over the world. As well as providing the only true business class cabin to Melbourne, the A330 also offers more than 12 tonnes of air freight capacity to the South Island's export community.
"It is primarily images of the South Island which attract people to visit New Zealand. The island hosts around 50% of New Zealand's tourism activity every year, worth more than six
billion per annum and sustaining around 63,000 jobs across every southern region. Christchurch Airport is committed to investing in and deepening partnerships with major international carriers to ensure the South Island is well connected internationally and positioned to take advantage of the regional economic development opportunities international aviation offers."