Gulf carrier Emirates has revealed a huge rise in the number of travel bookings from the UK to New Zealand this winter, with Auckland seeing increases of up to 113% year-on-year.
The airline recently introduced one-stop A380 services between Auckland and London and Manchester respectively. The airline also offers two-stop A380 flights to Christchurch via Dubai and Sydney.
Emirates revealed bookings for travel over the next six months between the UK and Christchurch have seen an annual increase of 10%.
To Auckland, for travel during October-March, bookings have seen an annual increase of 113% from Gatwick; 109% from Heathrow; 65% from Manchester; 59% from Birmingham; 35% from Newcastle; and 34% from Glasgow.
As well as the non-stop route, Emirates currently also operates three other daily A380 services between Dubai and Auckland via Australia (Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane).
Emirates is the first airline to offer regular scheduled A380 services to and from Christchurch with the upgrade of the current daily Christchurch service, along with the removal of the en-route stop in Bangkok which will enable passengers to travel all the way between Dubai and Christchurch, via Sydney.
Known as the Garden City, Christchurch is the main gateway to the South Island and is set on the Canterbury Plains. The picturesque Avon River runs through the middle of the city of more than 380,000 residents. The banks of the river feature cycle paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Other tourist attractions include the International Antarctic Centre, the Christchurch Art Gallery and the start point for scenic journeys on the Trans Alpine passenger train.
Emirates is the only airline offering year-round scheduled A380 services to and from New Zealand.