Posted by: oliviapontet | December 3, 2014

The strategic alliance Air New Zealand & Air China

Air New Zealand and Air China today signed a letter of intent within the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to New Zealand which will open the way for a strategic alliance on services between China and New Zealand.

The strategic alliance Air New Zealand & Air China

The proposed alliance between the two national airlines and Star Alliance partner Air China would operate a new direct Beijing – Auckland service in over existing Shanghai Air New Zealand – Auckland service. The alliance is subject to regulatory approval.

State welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping at Government House Wellington.

China new Zealand

In addition to a new road, an alliance between the carriers would bring significant benefits to customers traveling in both directions, including better connections network in China and New Zealand, and the increased frequency of flights.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon says a deeper bilateral agreement between the two airlines would help to facilitate both business and tourism ties between the two countries.

“China is the second largest market for incoming visitors to New Zealand and we expect interest to visit New Zealand to continue to grow among Chinese travelers. source http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/259878/chinese-visit-pays-off-for-tv-makers

“However, China remains a difficult market for us to do. Working with a strong, highly respected media market of the house as Air China would give us a huge opportunity to convert this growth potential, while together with the additional capacity to support it.

“New businesses and travelers Zealand should also have a direct link to the capital and tourist attractions of China in Beijing.”

Air China CEO Song Zhiyong said Air China is committed to being a global hub and carrier alliances and partnerships are an important way to expand its international network.

“Over the past three years we have seen a double-digit growth in the annual number of Chinese tourists abroad.

“New Zealand is one of the most important markets for China outbound travel and Air China is confident about the promising future of this market, particularly given the close links of the airline Air New Zealand, an innovative airline full of vitality and dynamism. ”

Following the signing today, airlines will advance discussions to reach an agreement early next year which can then be filed for regulatory approval.

Chinese tourism booming

Chinese tourism booming in New Zealand is set to rocket ahead even faster, with more than half a million visitors a year should arrive by 2020. source

There could be more arrivals from China that the United States alone, Britain and Japan combined if their latest annual figures have remained the same.

China is already the second largest market for foreign visitors, behind Australia with 1.2 million arrivals a year.

The number of flights between China and New Zealand is expected to double under a new agreement signed between the two countries, said Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

It has been estimated New Zealand receive over half a million arrivals of Chinese passengers per year by 2020, he said. Auckland Airport estimated a figure closer to 600,000.

To accommodate a Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the conference of international air services negotiations in Indonesia last week that will allow airlines from New Zealand and China to fly up to 42 services a week, countries, an increase of the previous limit of 21 per week.

252,000 Chinese visitors arrived in New Zealand

Bridges said this year 252,000 Chinese visitors arrived in New Zealand by air compared to 108,000 in 2009.

“With the increase in air services, forecasts indicate that 509,000 Chinese visiting New Zealand by air each year by 2020.”

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said that was a conservative estimate and there would be no problem to find airlines to fill the 42 flights a week limit. The growth of China is largely due to its average balloon class and a Chinese business increase people visiting New Zealand who then brought their families for a follow-up visit, Thomas said.

Airport spokesman Charles Spillane Auckland said the agreement was a great result for the tourism industry and the economy by allowing more air services of one of the fastest growing tourism markets New Zealand.

Chinese airlines would use the previous maximum of 21 services per week this summer. China Southern would operate twice a day from Guangzhou to Auckland, with plans to operate three charter services from Guangzhou to Christchurch for the Chinese New Year in February.

China Eastern is a daily flight to Auckland from Shanghai while Air New Zealand will continue to operate a daily service between Auckland and Shanghai.

Auckland Airport arrivals figures show Chinese visitors were up 45.1 percent in October compared to October last year.

Inbound markets of North Asia also performed well last month, with visitor arrivals from Japan up 16.5 percent, Hong Kong up 14.9 percent, Korea up 13 percent and Taiwan up 13.8 percent over October last year.

Air New Zealand and Air China were also considering a strategic alliance that would create a new direct route between Beijing and Auckland for the first time since 2012, subject to regulatory approval. The two companies signed a letter of intent last week as part of the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to New Zealand.

The proposed alliance between the two carriers and Star Alliance partners would result in Air China direct flight between Beijing and Auckland.

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