Air New Zealand will increase its international capacity to China and Japan for the upcoming Northern Winter schedule. The national carrier’s China capacity for the November 2011-March 2012 period will rise 21.6%, with increased frequencies to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Capacity on the Auckland-Beijing route will expand 38.6% with the addition of a third year-round Boeing 777-200 service from early December. Air NZ’s Auckland-Shanghai route meanwhile, will have a capacity increase of 22.7%, with the addition of a fourth Boeing 777-200 service operating between December and March.
“In addition, following strong demand for the overnight service from Auckland to Hong Kong, this route is up by 15.6% with a Boeing 777-200 operating daily services from November to mid-December, increasing to nine services per week from mid-December,” said Air NZ’s Deputy CEO, Norm Thompson. “We are the only airline to offer an overnight service from Auckland to Hong Kong, providing customers with a lie-flat bed option in our Business Premier class, and landing in Hong Kong first thing in the morning enabling customers to make full use of their day,” he added.
Air NZ is also continuing with its plans to introduce a Boeing 747-400 on its Japan routes between December and February.
“We will be increasing our Auckland-Tokyo capacity by 16%, with the up-gauge of the daily service from a Boeing 777-200 to a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, reflecting our confidence in the return of tourists to New Zealand from this important market,” said Thompson.
In addition, Auckland-Osaka capacity will rise by 7.7% following a reduction earlier in the year as a result of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The new planned frequency will be back to the same level as the Northern Winter schedule the previous year, with a Boeing 767-300 operating all services.
On North American routes, all Auckland-San Francisco services will be operated by Boeing 747-400 aircraft, increasing capacity by 14.1%, while Auckland-Vancouver capacity will rise by 10.1%.
With the airline’s two remaining new Boeing 777-300 aircraft due to join the fleet by mid- February, all four weekly services to and from Los Angeles will be operated using these aircraft.