"This new service will add 83,000 seats to the China-Auckland route every year and deliver an estimated NZ$102 million boost to the New Zealand tourism industry," said Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport's Acting General Manager - Aeronautical-Commercial.
"This route strengthens Tianjin Airlines' foreign hub, which is playing a significant strategic role in our ongoing growth plans. This year alone we have launched more than 10 new international destinations, including London, Moscow, Osaka and Phuket. Tianjin Airlines' Auckland-Chongqing-Tianjin route will open a new pathway for New Zealand tourism, giving more New Zealanders the opportunity to enjoy the many attractions China has to offer," said Tianjin Airlines' Market Director Li Wenbin.
"This is an air bridge connecting the people of China and New Zealand. The friendship between the two countries will become closer through this route," said Luo Binhui, Consulate-General of The People's Republic of China in Auckland.
The flight will operate with two classes of service with 18 business class seats and 142 seats in economy class. All seats have a personal in-flight entertainment system which is available throughout the flight.
Flights are timed for connections through Tianjin Airlines' international network and with high-speed rail in China, making it easy for customers to transfer from Chongqing and Tianjin to other Chinese cities including Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai.
The outbound flight is scheduled to depart from Auckland Airport every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9:30pm, arriving at Chongqing at 5:45 the following morning (12.5 hours' flight time). After a three-hour layover, it will depart at 8:40am and arrive at Tianjin at 11:05am. The return flight departs from Tianjin at 8:10pm and arrives at Chongqing at 11pm After a three- hour layover, it will depart at 1am and arrive at Auckland at 6:30pm. (13.5 hours' flight time).
Introductory fares on the route begin at about NZ$600 or RMB3,000 for a return ticket excluding tax. Travellers can buy tickets through local agencies in New Zealand.