Air New Zealand, which withdrew from the South Korean market in 1997, resumed its direct flight service between South Korea and New Zealand in 22 years. “We decided to resume the service in that the number of South Koreans visiting New Zealand is on the increase,” Air New Zealand acting CEO Jeff McDowall said at his press conference in Seoul on Nov. 25.
In the past, the airline provided four flights a week to and from Auckland and Brisbane and Seoul. However, the flights were stopped in 1997, when the number of inbound visitors dropped from 100,000 to 20,000 a year in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
“The number of inbound tourists visiting New Zealand is rising again these days, and yet they have had to fly via Japan or Australia due to a shortage of direct flights,” the acting CEO went on to say, adding, “New Zealand is closely connected to other cities such as Brisbane and Gold Coast and I am convinced that the Auckland-Incheon flight will be very successful.”
The direct flight was resumed on Nov. 23 at the Auckland International Airport. The service is available every Monday, Thursday and Saturday and there will be five flights a week from late next month to mid-February next year. It takes about 11 hours to reach Auckland from Incheon. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is used for the flight.