05 August 2013

New Zealand's national carrier and its main airport Monday signed a partnership to target new areas of the Chinese tourism market and to promote New Zealand as a gateway to the Pacific islands.


The partnership between Air New Zealand and Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) aimed to boost visitor numbers from the 86,000 who traveled direct from China in the year ending June and smooth visitor numbers between the high and low seasons.


Joint activity would include advertising, consumer road shows, trade training and familiarization trips in order to develop new products for special interests, corporate customers and families, said a statement from the two companies.


Air New Zealand regional general manager Asia Sandeep Bahl said China was New Zealand's second largest and fastest growing market and it was crucial to grow numbers in order to support the airline 's daily service into Shanghai.


"Our latest joint venture with AIAL will help us to further grow and develop this key market as we build this market to a daily 300-seat plus service," Bahl said in the statement.


AIAL general manager aeronautical commercial Glenn Wedlock says the partnership provided a key opportunity to capitalise on the growth from the buoyant China market.


"If we can keep the momentum going and inbound visitors coming, it'll have huge benefits for not only AIAL and Air New Zealand, but for tourism and the wider New Zealand economy as well," Wedlock said in the statement.