NZ carrier to launch direct Manila-Auckland flights
NEW Zealand’s national carrier is set to launch direct flights between Manila and Auckland by the end of this year, boosting connectivity in time for the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Philippines.
Air New Zealand announced on Wednesday a further expansion in its Pacific Rim network with the launch of direct flights between Manila and Auckland from December. The new year-round service will operate three times a week using Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
Travel time between the two cities via this carrier is estimated at around 10 and a half hours in each direction.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the service would likely be popular at both ends of the route.
“The Filipino population in New Zealand has more than tripled since 2001 and is now the third largest Asian ethnic group, with around 40,000 Filipinos resident in New Zealand. The number of visitors from the Philippines is also continuing to grow rapidly, up more than 20 percent in the past year alone so we’re anticipating that demand for this service will be steady in both directions,” Luxon said.
“As the only non-stop service between New Zealand and the Philippines, our flight will be quicker and more convenient for travellers than the fastest current option which flies indirect, potentially saving up to two and a half hours each way,” said Luxon.
Tickets sale on this direct service will go on sale mid-year, subject to government and regulatory approvals.
This new service gives travellers between Manila and Auckland additional flight options. Last year, Philippine Airlines also launched a four-times-a-week flight to Auckland, with a one-hour stopover at Cairns in Queensland, northern Australia.
One in every 50 Kiwi is of Southeast Asian origin and half of all Southeast Asian immigrants are from the Philippines.
With a vast territory and only 4.5 million in population, New Zealand welcomes skilled manpower. And more than just opening its door to migrants, this Pacific territory seeks to do more business with Southeast Asia, from the dairy farms that dot its scenic landscape to its aviation sector and its booming tourism industry.
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