Between 26 December 2010 and 3 April 2011, Air New Zealand will operate 14 return charter flights to Auckland from nine departure points across Japan.

Air New Zealand General Manager Japan, Edward Overy, says “This is a huge increase from the four charter flights we operated last summer, and is solid proof of the strong market recovery we are witnessing here. Japan is a very important market for us, last year it contributed almost 85,000 visitors to New Zealand, making it our fifth largest tourist market.

“Japanese tourists help boost the New Zealand economy. They spend more than any other nationality - averaging $4,600 in expenditure per visitor. They’re also highly satisfied tourists - rating our scenery, unspoiled environment and un-crowded spaces high on the list of things they appreciate about New Zealand as a holiday destination.”

Mr Overy says the airline is deliberately focusing on new tourists from key regions across Japan including Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Okinawa, Sendai, Kumamoto, Hiroshima, Miyazaki and Kagoshima. These visitors will complement those already travelling on Air New Zealand's 12 scheduled services from Tokyo (Narita Airport) and Osaka (Kansai Airport) each week.

The charter flights will utilise 230 seat Boeing 767 aircraft potentially bringing more than 3,000 additional Japanese visitors to New Zealand over the popular summer season. Air New Zealand has worked in partnership with both Tourism New Zealand and Auckland International Airport Limited to develop the charter programme.

Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager Japan, Jason Hill, says the organisations have worked closely on the project which will see a boost to summer arrivals on the back of 13 per cent growth in the first half of this year.

"These charters will fly out of secondary regions, which means they will be opening up direct flights to a new group of Japanese visitors. It will also deliver growth above and beyond usual expectation and provide an estimated $13.8 million increase in spending for the New Zealand industry," Mr Hill said.

Travel partners in Japan promoting these New Zealand charters include JTB, Club Tourism, Hiroden Chugokushimbun Travel, Kinki Nippon Tourist, Kyushu Sanko Tourism, Meitetsu World Travel, Miyazaki Kotsu Travel, Nokyo Tourist Corporation, Nishitetsu Travel, Okinawa Tourist Service and Yomiuri Travel Service.

Schedule details are:

Departs Departing
Arrives
Sunday 26 December
Nagoya 1730 Auckland 0825 + 1
Sunday 2 January

Auckland 0830
Nagoya 1730
Nagoya 1600
Auckland 1130 + 1
Sunday 9 January

Auckland 0830
Nagoya 1730
Nagoya 1600
Auckland 0825 + 1
Sunday 16 January

Auckland 0830
Sendai 1950
Nagoya 1600
Auckland 1105 + 1
Sunday 23 January

Auckland 0830
Nagoya 2005
Sendai 1615
Auckland 1100 + 1
Sunday 30 January

Auckland 0830
Sapporo 2020
Nagoya 1600
Auckland 1230 + 1
Sunday 6 February

Auckland 0700
Nagoya 2005
Sapporo 1530
Auckland 0825 + 1
Sunday 13 February

Auckland 0830
Nagoya 1730
Nagoya 1600
Auckland 1100 + 1
Sunday 20 February

Auckland 0800
Okinawa 2040
Nagoya 1530
Auckland 1110 + 1
Sunday 27 February

Auckland 0830
Fukuoka 1945
Okinawa 1530
Auckland 1110 + 1
Sunday 6 March

Auckland 0830
Kumamoto 1925
Fukuoka 1615
Auckland 1025 + 1
Sunday 13 March

Auckland 0830
Hiroshima 1920
Kumamoto 1600
Auckland 1040 + 1
Sunday 20 March

Auckland 0830
Miyazaki 1930
Hiroshima 1610
Auckland 1025 + 1
Sunday 27 March

Auckland 0830
Kagoshima 1930
Miyazaki 1600
Auckland 1025 + 1
Sunday 3 April
Auckland 0830 Kagoshima 1600 + 1


Ends

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 9 336 2761