Direct Hong Kong flights return to Chch

Christchurch Airport is celebrating the return of another international airline, with direct flights from Hong Kong resuming tomorrow.

The Cathay Pacific route is the last to reopen since the Covid pandemic, along with services linking Christchurch to Singapore, Dubai and Guangzhou (gwong-jjoe).

Last week the airport welcomed a new route for this summer when the first-ever United Airlines flight from San Francisco touched down.

And last month China Southern Airlines reinstated its non-stop flight from Christchurch to Guangzhou for the first time since the pandemic. The reinstatement means once again New Zealanders can fly to Guangzhou, near Shenzhen, in 12 hours.

The inaugural Cathay Pacific flight for the summer is scheduled to arrive in the early afternoon on Saturday, marking the start of a thrice-weekly service that will run until February 29 next year.

Said Christchurch Airport chief executive Justin Watson: "This marks a significant milestone in the history of the airline’s relationship with the airport.

"The inaugural seasonal service commenced in December 2017 and was suspended during the pandemic.

"Due to high demand following the announcement of its return, the airline upgraded to a larger aircraft.

“Since the initiation of this service, over 64,000 passengers have traveled on 275 flights.

"The relaunch of the direct flights signifies South Islanders’ strong preference for flying with this airline, whether for visiting Hong Kong or as a stopover en route to other global destinations.

“The airline boasts one of the most modern long-haul fleets in the air, featuring the state-of-the-art A350 on the Christchurch-Hong Kong route, which is 25% more fuel-efficient than other models.”

Frosti Lau, Cathay Pacific regional general manager, said: "Our first seasonal service post-pandemic demonstrates our commitment to the route, the people, and the businesses of the South Island. We anticipate that this service will provide a significant economic uplift to various sectors, including exports, tourism, and those looking to explore the world via Hong Kong and beyond. We guarantee an exceptional experience aboard Cathay Pacific flights."

-RNZ and Star News