China to Resume More Direct Flights to New Zealand

By Billy Jiang, June 30, 2023

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New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins concluded his five-day visit to China with a significant boost to economic ties between the two nations. 

During the visit, Hipkins held crucial discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, focusing on measures to enhance cooperation and trade.

WeChat-Screenshot_20230630153438.pngNew Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Image released by Shen Hong/Xinhua.

New Zealand's Economy Seeks Recovery

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins arrived in Beijing on June 25 for his first visit to China since assuming office in January.

The visit comes at a crucial time for New Zealand, as the country recently entered a recession following two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. 

Hipkins emphasized the importance of the relationship with China in aiding the country's economic recovery.

Trade-Focused Agreements & Increased Air Travel Capacity

During Hipkin's visit in Beijing, the New Zealand delegation signed several trade-focused agreements with China, further strengthening bilateral economic cooperation. 

A major announcement was made by China Southern Airlines, which revealed plans to resume its direct flight between Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, and Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island, in November. 

This decision comes as a response to the growing demand for travel between the two countries after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China Southern Airlines also intends to add three more weekly flights connecting Guangzhou and Auckland, highlighting the airline's commitment to bolstering travel connectivity between the nations.

eric-feng-atl-_jCAwRU-unsplash.jpgAuckland, New Zealand. Image via Unsplash.

Positive Outlook for Tourism

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins expressed optimism about New Zealand's tourism industry, stating that the worst time has passed since the reopening of the borders. 

Since then, the country has seen over a million tourists, with approximately 77,000 visitors arriving from China alone. 

The resurgence of air travel between China and New Zealand is expected to further stimulate the tourism sector, positioning China as a significant market for New Zealand's tourism consumption.

China: New Zealand's Key Economic Partner

The Ministry of Commerce of China reveals that China remains New Zealand's largest trading partner for goods, export market, and import source country. 

Additionally, China stands as the second-largest overseas market for tourism consumption, further underlining the significance of the bilateral economic relationship.

Before the pandemic, China Southern Airlines held a substantial share, accounting for over 40% of the China-New Zealand air travel market, operating triple daily flights between Guangzhou and New Zealand.

loeng-lig-v5TwMWDaHDI-unsplash.jpgGuangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. Image via Unsplash.

The resumption of direct flights and the strengthened economic ties are expected to have a positive impact on both nations' economies, fostering increased cooperation and trade opportunities.

This marks a new chapter in New Zealand-China relations, as both countries work hand in hand to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Stay tuned for more updates by following our Official WeChat Account, ThatsGBA

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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