Sichuan Airlines is planning to launch its first flights to New Zealand.
The Chengdu-based carrier has applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for permission to launch direct services to Auckland.
If approved, the Chinese airline could operate three weekly flights on the Chengdu-Auckland route as early as December 2016, using its 301-seat, two-class Airbus A330 aircraft.
The route would mark the first direct link between Auckland and Chengdu. Currently Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines fly to Auckland from their respective hubs in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. And Hainan Airlines is planning to connect Auckland with Shenzhen from November this year.
Sichuan Airlines already flies to Melbourne.