Air New Zealand will resume a nonstop seasonal service between Auckland and Osaka, Japan from November.
Using Boeing 767-300 aircraft, the airline will operate three return services per week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between November 2016 and March 2017, subject to government and regulatory approvals.
With a flight time around 11 hours, the outbound service will depart Auckland at 10.25am and arrive at Kansai International Airport in Osaka at 6.00pm, the same day. The inbound flight will depart Osaka at 9.00pm and arrive in Auckland at 12.05pm the following day.
In 2013 Air New Zealand consolidated its services to Japan, suspending the Osaka route and refocusing on growing its Tokyo Narita services.
Since that time, Air New Zealand has significantly grown traffic between New Zealand and Japan, creating new demand for a seasonal Osaka service.
Air New Zealand Chief Strategy, Networks and Alliances Officer Stephen Jones says the new seasonal service is a great proposition for Kiwis looking to head north over the summer months and for Japanese travellers looking to head south for Southern summer.
“With this new seasonal offering, paired with our ten times weekly service between Auckland and Tokyo on the 787-9 Dreamliner, we’re confident that we can meet the growing demand for travel to and from Japan.
“Japan is our fifth largest tourism market and visitor numbers to New Zealand from Japan were up 7.6 percent to 87,328 for the year end December 2015.” The number of New Zealanders travelling to Japan grew 17 percent to 29,400 for the year ending December 2015.