New Zealand’s tourism industry will be given another boost later this year, when Cathay Pacific launches the first direct service connecting Hong Kong with the country’s South Island.
Commencing on 1 December 2017, the new service will target travellers during New Zealand’s peak summer tourist season, ending on 28 February 2018. Operating three times a week, the flights will complement Cathay’s existing twice daily services to Auckland. Cathay’s alliance partner, Air New Zealand, also flies daily between Hong Kong and Auckland.
The launch of the new route will also see the new Airbus A350 aircraft introduced to Christchurch.
“We are an airline that puts the needs of our customers at the heart of every decision we make. Christchurch, and indeed the South Island as a whole, is a magnificent part of the world, so we are really excited to be able to connect this new and breath-taking destination direct with our Hong Kong home,” said Cathay’s director of corporate development & IT, Paul Loo.
The announcement of Cathay’s flights to Christchurch follows the extension of the airline’s alliance with Air New Zealand. The two carriers will now partner on flights between Hong Kong and New Zealand for a further five years, running until 2022.
“Through our agreement with Cathay Pacific we have been able to stimulate travel between New Zealand and Hong Kong and, importantly, grow inbound tourism from this market with visitor numbers up 130% since the alliance was first signed,” said Air New Zealand’s chief strategy, networks & alliances officer, Stephen Jones.
“By extending our alliance we hope to further grow these services and continue to deliver a range of benefits to the travelling public.”
The launch of Christchurch will continue a year of expansion for Cathay Pacific, which is also planning to commence services from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv and Barcelona in 2017.