Dancers welcomed passengers to Christchurch Airport on the new China Airlines service which operates from Taipei via Melbourne. The airline already serves the New Zealand city via Sydney.
- China Airlines has added another link to Australia and New Zealand with the launch on 25 October of a new thrice-weekly service from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) to Melbourne (MEL) with onward service to Christchurch (CHC). The 7,395-kilometre route to Melbourne will be operated by the airline’s A330-300s and is not served by any other airline. However, the 2,411-kilometre Melbourne to Christchurch sector, on which the airline has traffic rights, is already served by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Airlines with daily flights, and by Jetstar Airways with six weekly flights. China Airlines already operates a Taipei-Sydney-Christchurch service as well as serving Brisbane and Auckland. The new service departs Taipei at 22:30 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays arriving in Melbourne at 11:50 the following day. At 13:10 it then departs Melbourne arriving in Christchurch at 18:30. Lyell Strambi, Chief Executive, Melbourne Airport welcomed China Airlines President Chang Yu-Hern, who was on the inaugural flight along with a number of the board members, to Melbourne. “Attracting new international services such as China Airlines provides exciting new opportunities for Victoria’s tourism industry, as well as strengthening our business, trade and education connections with Taiwan,” Strambi said in a statement. In addition to this new long-haul service, China Airlines also launched new flights from Kaohsiung (KHH) to Fukuoka (FUK) and Kumamoto (KMJ) in Japan. The former will be served twice-weekly and faces competition from EVA Air, while the latter will be served thrice-weekly and faces no competition. Both routes will be operated by the airline’s 737-800s. Vote for Melbourne and Christchurch airports fire truck water arch’s.