Chinese carrier Tianjin Airlines launched a new non-stop service between Auckland and two major Chinese cities, Chongqing and Tianjin.
The Auckland–Chongqing–Tianjin service operates three times a week using a 260-seat Airbus A330 aircraft. This is the first flight from Auckland to Chongqing and Tianjin.
“We’re delighted to welcome Tianjin Airlines to Auckland Airport and New Zealand. This new service will add 83,000 seats to the China–Auckland route every year and deliver an estimated $102 million boost to the New Zealandtourism industry,” said Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s Acting General Manager — Aeronautical-Commercial.
“This route strengthens Tianjin Airlines’ foreign hub, which is playing a significant strategic role in our ongoing growth plans. This year alone we have launched more than 10 new international destinations, including London, Moscow, Osaka and Phuket. Tianjin Airlines’ Auckland–Chongqing–Tianjinroute will open a new pathway for New Zealand tourism, giving more New Zealanders the opportunity to enjoy the many attractions China has to offer,” said Tianjin Airlines’ Market Director Li Wenbin.
“This is an air bridge connecting the people of China and New Zealand. The friendship between the two countries will become closer through this route,” said Luo Binhui, Consulate-General of The People’s Republic of China in Auckland.
The flight will operate with two classes of service with 18 business class seats and 142 seats in economy class. All seats have a personal in-flight entertainment system which is available throughout the flight.
Flights are timed for convenient connections through Tianjin Airlines’ extensive international network and with high-speed rail in China, making it easy for customers to transfer from Chongqing and Tianjin to many renowned Chinese cities including Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai.
The outbound flight is scheduled to depart from Auckland Airport every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 21:30, arriving at Chongqing at 5:45 the following morning (12.5 hours’ flight time). After a three-hour layover, it will depart at 8:40 and arrive at Tianjin at 11:05. The return flight departs from Tianjin at 20:10 and arrives at Chongqing at 23:00. After a three- hour layover, it will depart at 1:00 and arrive at Auckland at 18:30. (13.5 hours’ flight time).
Tianjin Airlines Company Limited was founded in June 2009 as an aviation enterprise co-established by the Tianjin government and the HNA Group. Tianjin Airlines has a fleet of more than 90 aircraft. It opened its first international route in 2010 and now operates more than 30 international routes, connecting China to Japan, South Korea, Russia, Southeast Asia, Europe and other international destinations. In 2016, Tianjin Airlines introduced three A330 wide-body aircraft. Within the next five years, Tianjin Airlines plans to add more than ten A330 wide-body aircraft, and more international routes to Europe, Oceania and America, connecting to major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Melbourne.