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China Southern Airlines to Start Auckland Service by April 30

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Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s tourism earnings may increase by as much as NZ$50 million ($37 million) a year when China Southern Airlines Co., Asia’s largest carrier by passenger numbers, begins flying between Auckland and Guangzhou in April.

The new route will add 88,000 seats each year between Auckland to mainland China, the Guangzhou-based company said in a statement yesterday. Passengers will fly three times a week to China’s third-largest city via Melbourne, it said.

China is already a "substantial visitor market, with over 10,000 international arrivals a month," Auckland International Airport Ltd. chief executive officer Simon Moutter said in the statement. The new route will add NZ$50 million to the local economy, he said.

China Southern Airlines will begin the service on or before April 30 and use a 284-seat Airbus SAS A330-300 aircraft, the company said.

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Wellington at psedgman2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Iain Wilson iwilson2@bloomberg.net