Air connectivity benefits southern regions
A record summer is underway at Christchurch Airport, generating wealth throughout the South Island.
A record summer is underway at Christchurch Airport, with a 16% increase in passenger numbers compared to the same period last year driving an additional $150 million into South Island regions.
“This is outstanding growth and will top 20% in the month of February,” says Chief Commercial Officer – Aeronautical, Justin Watson. “It will move the Gateway to the South Island from around 5.9 million passengers last year to close to 6.4 million passengers this year and the most passengers the airport has ever handled in a single year.”
This summer will see:
- double-daily 777 services by long-standing airline partner Singapore Airlines, which has lifted services to Christchurch from 365 to 393 p.a.
- a 400% increase in A330 services from China Airlines
- Qantas adding a new 737 summer service between Christchurch and Brisbane flying four times a week
- a new year-round 787 China Southern Airlines service direct from Guangzhou, starting at three times a week
- significantly increased trans-Tasman services from several airlines including Virgin Australia
- increased domestic services from Air New Zealand and Jetstar
and next year a new Virgin Airlines 737 service to the Cook Islands.
“We estimate our new and additional services will bring in an additional 50,000 international visitors over the next 12 months,” Mr Watson says. “At an average visitor spend of $3200, so that is more than $150m in visitor spend – the majority of which stays in the South Island.”
He says official statistics show when Christchurch is the gateway, visitors leave around 86% of their spending in the regions of the South Island.