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    Tuesday, June 18, 2024

    Air New Zealand Increasing Flights to Japan in Big Push into Asia


    Air New Zealand is boosting capacity to Japan, adding 30,000 seats to its Tokyo route between November and March as part of a big push into Asia.

    Chief executive Greg Foran said the airline will fly more Boeing 777 aircraft to Japan in response to increased demand.

    “Japan is an incredibly important visitor market for the New Zealand tourism industry, so additional seats over our busiest season means more inbound travel from Japan,” he said.

    “Adding the 777 to more of our Tokyo services means that there are more seats available in premium cabins and that customers may experience our newly refreshed aircraft, which includes new seat covers and updated soft products like pillows and blankets.”

    The move coincides with the government’s trade and tourism push into Japan, of which Foran is a part.

    The national carrier is expanding in key markets across Asia, adding more than 55,000 seats on services to Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo between November 2024 and March 2025.

    There will be a higher number of premium seats to all three destinations, with Foran saying they are “incredibly popular” with customers travelling on these routes.

    Foran said the extra capacity will support the New Zealand tourism industry as it welcomes back more tourists from Asia in the wake of Covid-related travel restrictions.

    Last year, New Zealand recorded 51,000 arrivals from Japan – around half the number of arrivals before restrictions were introduced. Conversely, the number of Kiwis visiting Japan has increased, in large part as a result of the weak Japanese yen.

    Prime Minister Christoper Luxon said New Zealand and Japan have long-standing connections, particularly in tourism.

    “Pre-covid we welcomed over 100,000 visitors from Japan every year so it’s great to see air travel capacity increasing again, providing an important boost to New Zealand’s economy.”

    In April, Air New Zealand announced its return to Hobart and Seoul and added premium seats on routes to Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo by replacing 787 aircraft with a larger 777-300.

    Most of the additional 30,000 seats on the Tokyo route will be in the business premier and premium economy cabins, while just over half of the 20,000 extra seats on the Singapore route will be in premium cabins. There will be 7500 additional premium seats to Taipei.

    However, the airline also extended the pause on its non-stop service to Chicago until the second half of 2025 due to ongoing challenges with the availability of serviceable Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, which is impacting airlines around the world.

    These are the engines used on Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 aircraft. 

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