Korean Air will operate ten return services from December 27
between Incheon Airport, ranked the Best Airport Worldwide for 11
consecutive years, and Christchurch Airport, ranked Australasia's
Best Regional Airport.
Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer,
Justin Watson, says the service is a response to increasing numbers
of Korean visitors coming to experience the South Island.
"Our Korean arrival numbers have grown 39 per cent over the past
five years and this charter service is seen as a trial, which may
lead to more flights the following year," he says.
"Analysis suggests the Korean visitors off the charter service
will spend about $7 million during their time in the South Island,
so it's a win-win for both the visitors and the island's
The new service is the result of a concerted effort by the
airport company, Tourism New Zealand and other government agencies
working together with South Korean travel sellers.
Rene de Monchy, Director Commercial, Tourism New Zealand
welcomes the announcement.
"Tourism New Zealand has increased its marketing effort and
investment in South Korea to help stimulate demand for travel to
New Zealand," he says. "This series of flights direct into
the South Island will provide our Korean visitors greater choice
and flexibility in travelling to New Zealand for their
Christchurch City Council's deputy mayor Andrew Turner also
visited the airline's head office last year to support the call for
the service. "I look forward to seeing the success of this new
service and the benefits I am sure it will provide" says Councillor
"The importance of the Deputy Mayor visiting the airline for
face to face discussions cannot be underestimated, because
government support carries considerable weight in Asian countries",
says Justin Watson.
"We have seen in the past how responding to overseas market
interest can bring interested parties together to work for
everyone's benefit", he says. "We look forward to welcoming the
Korean Airlines' B777-ER with 291 seats in three classes (First,
Business, Economy) when it lands for the first time on Christmas