The inaugural charter flight by China Southern Airlines into
Christchurch International Airport last week has been
labelled a ''timely boost'' for South Island tourism and the
wider economy by the Tourism Industry Association New
The special 787 Dreamliner flight, which travelled from
Guangzhou to Christchurch with 228 passengers, was the first
aircraft of its kind to fly to Christchurch commercially, the
first Chinese airline to fly to the airport and the first
China Southern charter flight to the South Island.
The Dreamliner returned to Guangzhou.
Association chief executive Martin Snedden said China had
quickly grown to be New Zealand's second-biggest source of
international visitors after Australia.
It was expected the number of Chinese visitors to New Zealand
would continue to grow, particularly if it became easier for
Mr Snedden said the tourism industry's ability to
''successfully exploit'' the opportunities could only be
strengthened by last week's flight.