Press Release – Auckland International Airport
Auckland Airport has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with China Southern Airlines, Asia’s largest airline, targeting programmes to hit its Ambition 2020 goals
The new agreement follows on from a previous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Auckland Airport, China Southern and Tourism New Zealand in December last year, and reaffirms the Airport’s commitment to increasing international tourism and trade potential for both countries.
Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport’s Chief Executive, signed the agreement yesterday in China where he is a delegate on the Prime Minister’s current tour of China.
“This new agreement provides fresh impetus and reiterates our dedication to fostering a closer working relationship between New Zealand and China,” says Mr Littlewood. “China is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and represents a huge growth opportunity for New Zealand, as indicated recently by the Prime Minister’s one million targeted possible Chinese arrivals. It is important we rally and prepare as an industry with our key partners in China, such as China Southern Airlines.”
“Chinese visitor arrivals performed exceptionally over the Chinese New Year period with arrivals up 94.2% on February 2012. We have seen significant growth in Chinese arrivals during the Chinese New Year period with 30% year on year growth in the combined two month January and February period. This indicates that New Zealand is fast becoming a very popular Chinese New Year holiday destination. It is imperative we build on this momentum, develop capacity and product to cater for demand and maximise the benefits this can bring to the entire tourism and trade sector and the New Zealand economy.”
Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport General Manager Aero Commercial says “Our Ambition 2020 strategy aims to grow New Zealand’s share from high growth markets by improving direct air capacity and product development to meet demand. We have implemented a number of initiatives in the last year to achieve this with partners such as China Southern, including our new Chinese Luxury New Zealand programmes which are now delivering great growth in high value segments such as golf and incentive groups.”
“This new Memorandum of Understanding is completely in line with our new Ambition 2020 goals of over half a million arrivals with more than three daily direct air services. We are delighted that China Southern Airlines has again pledged their commitment to strengthening ties between China and New Zealand, building on the impressive results we have already seen from the airline, such as the increase in flight frequency on their Guangzhou-Auckland route from thrice-weekly to daily,” continues Mr Wedlock.
“The growth China Southern has delivered, particularly out of Guangzhou and regional China, has been staggering and with the strength of their development we know that this partnership can deliver immense value to New Zealand.”