Two significant air routes are launching this week, connecting New Zealand with Southeast Asia and South America.
Last night, Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight to Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires departed from Auckland, marking the start of a new thrice weekly service. And this evening, Philippine Airlines will launch its first flights to New Zealand, connecting Manila with Auckland, via Cairns.
Air New Zealand’s Buenos Aires route marks the first direct scheduled service linking New Zealand and South America. The route will be operated using a Boeing 777-200 aircraft which features the airline’s latest cabin products, including flat-bed seats in business class, premium economy seats, and the SkyCouch concept in economy class.
The airline’s CEO, Christopher Luxon, said the new route would “stimulate two way tourism and trade” between New Zealand and Argentina.
“Sales for the first few months have exceeded our expectations with a healthy spread of bookings originating in New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. A significant portion of the forward bookings heading to South America are from Australia, and this has been pleasing as it was a key part of the business case for this route,” Luxon commented.
Philippine Airlines’ first ever New Zealand service will depart Manila four times a week, and make a short stop in Cairns before arriving in Auckland the next day. The route will be served using a 156-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
“The route will stimulate passenger traffic along three travel streams – Manila-Cairns, Manila-Auckland as well as Cairns-Auckland,” said PAL’s president, Jaime J. Bautista. “Filipinos residing in New Zealand will find the new service as their convenient link to their home country.”
Cairns and Auckland will become PAL’s 37th and 38th international destinations, and on 18 December the airline will launch a brand new route to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.