Christchurch Airport just announced direct flights between
Christchurch and Los Angeles will turbocharge tourism value to New
American Airlines, in association with Qantas, will operate the
new service three times a week from October 2020 to March 2021.
Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer
Justin Watson says the service will turbocharge the New Zealand
tourism industry and the national economy, because statistics show
American visitors landing into Christchurch are high value
"Americans who enter the country through Christchurch Airport
spend 32% more and stay 34% longer than if they arrive elsewhere,"
"When they arrive into Christchurch, American visitors spend 77%
of their time in the regions of the South Island, compared to
the American visitor average of 51%.
"Based on government data, the seasonal service is forecast to
bring in an extra $52 million in visitor spend for New Zealand,
with $40 million of that in South Island regions. This is the ideal
combination of national value impact and regional economic
Mr Watson says the American Airlines service is a direct
response to Americans' very strong interest in the South
"US visitor arrivals into Christchurch grew by 14 percent last
year, as part of our growth in passenger numbers being higher than
the national average," he says.
"During a tourism delegation visit to the US July, travel agents
told us they are getting increasing requests for travel to the
South Island from visitors wanting to experience our place in the
Mr Watson says Christchurch Airport's strategy is to bring value
to New Zealand through attracting high value visitors to the
regions of the South Island.
"We know free independent travellers (FITs) with the South
Island on their wish-list will stay longer, see more and spend
more. They want to not only see and experience the spectacular
South Island, but also go off the beaten track, do things they
can't easily do in their own country, and experience our way of
"This service also complements the Antarctic connectivity from
this airport, with the United States Antarctic Programme based
here. It will of course also offer Kiwi travellers and producers'
freight direct access to North America. We have every expectation
the service will be well used - in both directions."