Capacity and demand surge in China-New Zealand market as airlines eye further growth

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With visitor flows from China to New Zealand recovering strongly, capacity in this market is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels during the southern hemisphere winter season.

The resumption of flights to New Zealand by Sichuan Airlines means that six Chinese airlines are now operating there. Some of them plan significant capacity increases in coming months.

New Zealand was already a popular market for mainland China's airlines before the pandemic, which is a major reason why capacity and demand is rebounding more quickly than in many of China's other international markets.

Although China's outbound travel has been generally slow to gain momentum, it is a good sign that it returning to pre-pandemic levels in certain markets - particularly a long haul destination like New Zealand. This bodes well for other countries that are waiting for Chinese traffic flows to bounce back.

China-New Zealand routes are dominated by the Chinese airlines, but having this many extra foreign airlines boosts Auckland Airport's competitiveness.

The China market is important for New Zealand, both in terms of current service and potential demand. This market was growing rapidly before the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is scope for further expansion that will be helped by having such a broad range of Chinese airlines already flying to New Zealand on multiple routes.

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