The FINANCIAL — Auckland Airport has welcomed the announcement by Philippine Airlines that it will introduce a direct flight on its Manila to Auckland route.
From December 2017 Philippine Airlines will be the first airline to fly non-stop from Manila to Auckland using a 254-seat Airbus A340 aircraft. The direct flight will replace the current Manila to Auckland via Cairns service, according to Auckland Airport.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says the new non-stop service will add more than 14,000 seats to the route, increasing seat capacity by 22%, and inject $13.6 million annually into the New Zealand economy.
“With more than 7,000 tropical islands, the Philippines is a popular destination and last year nearly 30,000 New Zealanders travelled there.
“The direct flight will also enable New Zealanders to connect to the 73 destinations on the Philippine Airlines network including the United Kingdom, Asia, North America and the Middle East,” says Mr Tasker.
“More than 40,000 Filipinos live in New Zealand and will now be able to fly non-stop to and from the Philippines. It will also accommodate the growing number of Filipino visitors who are holidaying or visiting friends and family in New Zealand.”
Introducing a larger aircraft on the route will also allow for an additional 14 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight. In the year ended March 2017, New Zealand exported $468m of dairy products to the Philippines, making it the eighth largest market for dairy exports.