Air New Zealand resumed direct services from Japan into Christchurch today (Tuesday 1 November). The airline’s Boeing 777-200 aircraft arrived in the quake-hit South Island city at 10am local time this morning, from Tokyo’s Narita airport.
Today’s arrival was first direct service from Japan to Christchurch since the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch on 22 February 2011. The flight also marks the return of the larger B777 on the route, replacing the B767.
“We are seeing optimism in the outbound tourism market from Japan over our summer and are responding by stepping up the capacity for the season following the reduced demand post the disasters experienced in Christchurch and Japan earlier in the year. The news has been warmly welcomed by the Japanese tourism industry,” said the airline’s General Manager for Japan, Ed Overy.
Over the coming summer season, Air New Zealand will operate three weekly services direct from Tokyo to Christchurch (Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays) along with a further three weekly flights between Tokyo and Auckland, and four between Osaka and Auckland.
Air New Zealand will also operate seven charter services during the summer months – four from Nagoya and one each from Fukuoka, Kagoshima and Hiroshima.
“This shows that demand from regional Japan for destination New Zealand is strong. The charter programme adds to the additional capacity Air New Zealand is putting on to Osaka and Tokyo for the New Zealand summer high season,” Overy added.