Air New Zealand will continue to expand its Asian network later this year with the launch of flights to the Philippines.
Commencing in December 2016, the airline will operate three weekly flights direct between Auckland and Manila, using a 230-seat, two-class Boeing 767 aircraft. The flight time will be approximately 10 and a half hours in each direction.
Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand, said he expects the new flights to be popular at both ends of the route.
“The Filipino population in New Zealand has more than tripled since 2001 and is now the third largest Asian ethnic group, with around 40,000 Filipinos resident in New Zealand. The number of visitors from the Philippines is also continuing to grow rapidly, up more than 20% in the past year alone so we’re anticipating that demand for this service will be steady in both directions,” Luxon stated.
“As the only non-stop service between New Zealand and the Philippines, our flight will be quicker and more convenient for travellers than the fastest current option which flies indirect, potentially saving up to two and a half hours each way.”
The Manila service will continue the expansion of Air New Zealand’s Asian network; flights to Ho Chi Minh City are scheduled to commence in June 2016, with a new seasonal service to Osaka following in November.
Philippine Airlines currently flies between Auckland and Manila, but its service includes a stop in Cairns.