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New air link to boost China-New Zealand economic, people links

Xinhua, September 28, 2015 Adjust font size:

A new direct air link between New Zealand's main international gateway at Auckland and Shanghai, China, will boost bilateral trade and people-to-people links, air industry officials said on Monday.

The launch of year-round flights by China Eastern Airlines had been strongly supported by the New Zealand government, senior vice- president of the airline, Liuwen Tian, said in a statement Monday.

China Eastern operated a successful seasonal service between Auckland and Shanghai from December last year to March.

The year-round service began with an inaugural flight arriving in Auckland on Saturday, and would see four flights a week until January next year, when they would become daily.

"The launch of regular China Eastern flights to New Zealand will further promote trade between China and New Zealand and improve the friendship of our people. It delivers greater cooperation and a more connected and dynamic relationship," said Tian.

The new year-round service would add 175,000 permanent seats on the route and contributes an estimated 212 million NZ dollars (135. 51 million U.S. dollars) to the New Zealand economy.

"The commencement of China Eastern Airlines' year-round service is great news and evidence of the strong growth in air connectivity between New Zealand and China in recent years," said Norris Carter, Auckland Airport general manager, aeronautical commercial. Endi