On the apron at Auckland Airport to celebrate the launch of China Eastern Airlines’ new seasonal service from Shanghai were: Kathy Zhang, GM Oceania, China Eastern Airlines; Mr Nui, Counsel-General of PR China; Norris Carter, GM Aeronautical Commercial, Auckland Airport. There was also a gift exchange and a traditional powhiri.
- China Eastern Airlines commenced service between Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Auckland (AKL) on 9 December, operating four times weekly with its A330-200s. The SkyTeam member will face competition on the 9,347-kilometre route as Star Alliance carrier Air New Zealand already serves the market with daily flights. The inaugural seasonal flight was welcomed with a water arch salute and a powhiri at Auckland Airport. Norris Carter, GM Aeronautical Commercial, Auckland Airport said: “The new service from China Eastern Airlines will see direct flights operating between Shanghai and Auckland during the peak New Zealand period of December 2014 to March 2015. The service will initially operate four flights per week and will increase to seven flights per week in January 2015. Shanghai is China’s largest city and we have been experiencing impressive growth from this market recently. In the year ending June 2014, we saw a 20 per cent increase in passenger numbers arriving from Shanghai when compared to the year before. This equates to a remarkable 36,000 visitors arriving from Shanghai over the 12 month period and indicates the strong potential for the future expansion of this market.” Ms Kathy Zhang, GM Oceania, China Eastern Airlines said: “During the 2014 Chinese New Year we operated two charter flights on the Shanghai to Auckland route. This proved very successful and it was off the back of this venture that we decided to introduce the new seasonal operation.” See how Auckland Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.