Notably, this will be the first instance of US Airlines offering a direct route between the South Island and the United States.
United San Francisco to Christchurch
Justin Watson, the Chief Executive of Christchurch Airport, emphasizes that this new non-stop service will enable South Islanders to reach the US in a single flight while facilitating direct access for Americans to the South Island, a key attraction for visitors to New Zealand.
Leveraging its partnership with Air New Zealand, United can seamlessly connect to the entire domestic network through Christchurch Airport’s unified terminal transfer.
Furthermore, United’s flights will address the crucial need for additional air freight capacity, aiding South Island exporters in swiftly transporting their valuable goods to international markets and ensuring prompt placement on overseas shelves.
“According to statistics, American visitors entering the country through Christchurch Airport tend to spend 42% more in New Zealand and extend their stay by 33%,” notes Justin.
“Based on government data, the anticipated visitor spend for New Zealand from this seasonal service is projected to be $44 million, with $32 million specifically benefiting the regions of the South Island.
“This represents an optimal blend of national value impact and regional economic influence, significantly enhancing the overall tourism value for the country.
“In addition, the direct service will play a crucial role in connecting Christchurch, America, and Antarctica. Given that Christchurch serves as the world’s southernmost gateway to the ice, the United States Antarctic Programme, which is based here, relies on this route. Annually, the program transports over 3000 staff, scientists, and supplies from America to Antarctica, making this direct air connection invaluable and streamlining the entire process.”
Tim Wallis, United Airlines Regional Sales Manager for Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti, underscores the expansion of the airline into New Zealand.
“At United, we are thrilled to enhance our presence in New Zealand with the inaugural flight UA730, marking the first non-stop service from San Francisco to Christchurch. New Zealand perennially remains a bucket list destination for our U.S. travelers, and this flight provides direct access to the natural wonders of the South Island while also simplifying travel for New Zealand’s southern residents heading north into the Americas and beyond.”
“We take pride in being the first U.S. airline to offer this direct service, creating seamless connections for travelers between Christchurch and the U.S. We eagerly anticipate sustaining our strong bonds in New Zealand and enriching travelers’ options, thanks to our fruitful partnership with Air New Zealand.
“Our collaboration with Christchurch Airport on the launch of this route has been a rewarding experience. The overwhelming community support in welcoming the aircraft’s touchdown on Sunday is truly gratifying. This marks a special moment for United and all parties involved.”
Christchurch Airport is unveiling a designated area alongside the runway, named “Planespotters’ Park,” exclusively on Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.
This unique space will be open for aviation enthusiasts to witness the arrival and departure of the Dreamliner. The special day offers everyone the chance to observe the aircraft landing and taxiing to its gate in the morning, followed by its departure in the afternoon.
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