New air services announced for Christchurch Airport signal a strong vote of confidence in the city as a visitor destination, says its regional tourism organisation.
Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive, Vic Allen has welcomed news that Emirates is to up-gauge its daily service to an A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner. The new aircraft will fly directly from Dubai and Sydney starting in October.
“This is a huge endorsement for Christchurch and the South Island from the fastest growing major airline in the world,” he said.
“The new aircraft, plus increased capacity announced by Qantas and Singapore Airlines, will bring thousands of extra visitors from two of our most important overseas visitor markets – Australia and UK/Europe. Together they contributed over $300m visitor spend in the Christchurch region in the last 12 months.”
South Korea’s Asiana Airlines is also introducing a new weekly summer service, expected to bring another 2500 visitors into Christchurch. Singapore Airlines will add five extra flights over summer, bringing their total number of flights for the year to 401. Qantas will introduce a new daily Christchurch-Melbourne service from December, and increase its services between Brisbane and Christchurch from three times per week to daily from late October.
“All this extra capacity comes at the right time for our visitor industry, and coincides with the opening of significant attractions including the Arts Centre, the Christchurch Adventure Park – the largest bike park in the Southern Hemisphere, and the key retail and hospitality precincts in the central city,” Mr Allen said.
“More direct flights from Australia will also support the efforts of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism and Christchurch Airport to re-establish the Christchurch-based South Island road trip, previously so popular with Australian visitors.”