Cathay Pacific will introduce a new seasonal service between Hong Kong and Christchurch from December 2017, directly linking the two cities by air for the first time and complementing the airline’s existing services to Auckland.
The non-stop Christchurch service will operate three times per week, departing Hong Kong on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays using technologically-advanced Airbus A350 aircraft, highlighting the airline’s commitment to New Zealand, a country it has served since 1983 and providing a welcome boost for tourism to Canterbury and the South Island.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the new service will operate between 1 December 2017 and 28 February 2018 and will complement Cathay Pacific’s current seasonal double daily flights to Auckland as well as strategic partner Air New Zealand’s daily service between Hong Kong and Auckland.
Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development and IT Paul Loo said the new Christchurch service will meet customer demand for travel to New Zealand throughout the southern hemisphere’s peak summer months, as well as provide a convenient option for South Island-based travelers looking to fly on Cathay Pacific to Asia and beyond via the Hong Kong hub.
“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 breathtaking destination direct with our Hong Kong home,” said Mr. Loo.
Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand will also extend their strategic alliance partnership on services between Hong Kong and New Zealand for a further five years until 2022, subject to continuing regulatory approvals.
“We are pleased to extend our alliance with Air New Zealand, which has allowed our two airlines to maximize synergies and better meet our customers’ needs,” Mr. Loo added.
Air New Zealand Chief Strategy, Networks and Alliances Officer Stephen Jones welcomed the extension of the alliance.
“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 percent since the alliance was first signed. By extending our alliance we hope to further grow these services and continue to deliver a range of benefits to the traveling public,” said Mr. Jones.
Cathay Pacific has expanded its long-haul network significantly in recent times. In March, the airline will commence a four-times-weekly service to Tel Aviv, while July sees the introduction of a four-times-weekly seasonal operation to Barcelona. These new services follow the addition of both Madrid and Gatwick in 2016.