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Hong Kong Airlines adds Auckland direct

NZN 14/05/2016

Hong Kong Airlines' new direct daily service to Auckland is the 19th new air route to New Zealand confirmed during the last year.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says it's evidence the government's liberal air services policy is making it easier for New Zealanders to travel and trade.

The airline says it will start running the route from November 10 using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

"This announcement further strengthens the flourishing tourism and trade between New Zealand, Hong Kong and mainland China," Mr Bridges says.

Nearly 40,000 Hong Kong residents visited New Zealand in the past 12 months, and more than 17,000 New Zealanders chose Hong Kong as their main travel destination.

Li Dianchun, the chief commercial officer of Hong Kong Airlines, says the new service to Auckland will be welcomed by passengers from Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Okinawa, Tokyo, Bangkok and Taipei as it offers more travel options.

International tourism spending is expected to surge in New Zealand in the next six years.

Foreign guests stumped up about $9 billion last year, but that is expected to rise by 65 per cent to $16 billion, according to a report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released last week.

Visitor arrivals are expected to grow to 4.5 million by 2022, up from the 3.1 million in 2015.

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