China Southern Airlines will start flying a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its belly route from Guangzhou to Christchurch later this year adding three tonnes of air freight capacity.
The new aircraft will fly directly between Christchurch and Guangzhou every day from late October to 31 March 31 next year. The airline currently flies the smaller 787-8 on the sector.
Christchurch Airport chief aeronautical and commercial Officer, Justin Watson said the Chinese carrier’s move is a big boost for local exporters.
He added: “The 787-9 will be able to carry about three extra tonnes of air freight. That extra three tonnes can roughly be the equivalent of $29,000 of export value to the South Island on every flight.
“That’s a real bonus for the many southern producers already using this direct air service to get produce including fresh seafood, meat, dairy products, flowers and fruit to the lucrative Asian markets quickly and in best condition.”
China Southern Airlines took delivery of the first 787-9 this May.