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Auckland–Beijing flights to finally return

written by Adam Thorn | May 1, 2023

Alan Wilson shot this Air China 787-9, B-1368 (WikiCommons)

Auckland will finally have a direct flight to Beijing for the first time post-COVID when Air China resumes flights on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Air New Zealand will then increase its flights to Shanghai to daily, providing competition to the same service operated by China Eastern.

The Kiwi flag carrier said the combination of the two services will deliver around 6,500 seats a week between the two countrires.

Pre-pandemic, China was New Zealand’s second-largest international visitor market, with 450,000 visitors in 2019 and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend, bringing in $1.5 billion.

“China is an incredibly important inbound visitor market, and we expect interest in visiting New Zealand to continue to grow among Chinese travellers,” said Air New Zealand’s chief customer officer Leanne Geraghty.


“Our strategic alliance with Air China provides additional capacity and improved connectivity, helping us to meet demand and showcase New Zealand as a world-class tourism destination.”

Air China will service the Beijing route four times per week using its 787-9s.

The new service is one of a number announced recently as international carriers begin to reinstate service after a sluggish recovery from COVID.

Yesterday, Australian Aviation reported how rebranded airline Batik Air Malaysia would launch a new three-times-a-week service from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur in July.

The mid-market carrier – previously known as Malindo Air – will challenge Oneworld’s Malaysia Airlines, which has its own five-times-a-week service on the same route.

Baltik’s service will fly from the Malaysian capital to SA on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, returning the other way on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The new route will provide SA residents with the potential to connect onwards to more than 45 Batik Air destinations.

Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Brenton Cox, said, “Batik Air, Malaysia offers connections through Kuala Lumpur across its network for travellers wanting to continue to other destinations throughout South East Asia, China, Japan and India. Batik is a full-service airline, so baggage is included in your fare.

“The airline previously operated a one-stop service via Bali under its previous Malindo Air banner, but this is the first time it has offered a non-stop service to and from Adelaide.”

While no announcement has been made as to what aircraft it will be using, it’s likely to be its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

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