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Chinese airline wants to fly to Auckland

NZN 11/07/2016 Edwin Mitson

China's Tianjin Airlines has become the latest airline to announce plans for a service to New Zealand with flights to start operating in December.

It's applied for Chinese government approval to use an Airbus A330 to connect the city of Tianjin to Auckland via Chongqing, operating three times a week.

The Air Transport department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China is currently seeking public comments on the application.

Tianjin Airlines currently flies to Thailand, South Korea, Russia, Japan, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Hong Kong Airlines has already announced a daily direct service between Hong Kong and Auckland, which is due to start in November. Both Hong Kong and Tianjin Airlines are owned by the Hainan Group.

In the year to the end of May 2016, the number of Chinese visitors to New Zealand rose 27.4 per cent to 394,528.

They are now the second largest visitor group to the country according to Tourism New Zealand, behind Australia.

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