Christchurch's daily A380 points to record summer
The arrival of the first scheduled A380 into the South Island will contribute to a record summer of visitors through Christchurch Airport.
The daily arrival and departure of the world’s largest passenger aircraft will add more than 100,000 extra airline seats through the airport over the coming year, providing a significant boost in visitor numbers and economic contribution to the South Island.
The airport’s Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says latest national data shows tourist spending across the South Island for the year ending September 2016 was $8,548 million.
“The additional direct international air services into Christchurch will help that climb even higher in the coming year,” he says. “We have a 35% increase in international seats here over the summer, which is ahead of the national growth trend. We are certainly on track to break all the records we set last summer.
“As well as the Emirates new A380 service flying daily into and out of Christchurch, we will have
– double-daily flights from Singapore Airlines over the peak period,
– a two-fold increase in Qantas flights including new daily Melbourne and Brisbane services,
– increased flights on China Southern Airlines direct to Guangzhou,
– increased flights to Nadi with Fiji Airlines,
– a return of China Airlines summer service from Taiwan via Melbourne and Sydney,
– a larger Air New Zealand 787 Dreamliner flying between Perth and Christchurch, and
– a new charter service from Asiana Airlines to meet the demand of Koreans wanting to experience the South Island.
“Domestic growth is also increasing year on year, with extra Air New Zealand domestic services boosting both domestic and international visitors through Christchurch Airport. We’re seeing increased domestic tourism now there is more to do and see here, as well as more places to stay in our regenerating city.”
Mr Watson says the acknowledged Gateway to the South Island is well set up to comfortably manage the increasing numbers, with forward planning built into the development of the integrated terminal.
“South Islanders have never been better connected to the world and our convenient connection times in the single terminal make it more seamless for travellers to get where they want to get to. The world is on our doorstep and it seems people are keen to fly on the A380 to Sydney and on to the many international destinations and experiences beyond.”