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Air New Zealand launches Beijing-Auckland direct flight
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Air New Zealand, the country's national carrier, launched a direct flight from Beijing to Auckland on Saturday, which is the first non-stop flight from Beijing to New Zealand.

The new non-stop service will operate twice a week using Air New Zealand's new Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. Flights will leave Beijing on Thursday and Saturday and return from Auckland on Wednesday and Friday (local time).

Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe of Air New Zealand said the new service is part of the company's effort to further expend its market shares in China. Air New Zealand has launched non-stop Auckland-Shanghai service in November 2006.

"More and more Chinese visitors make their travels to New Zealand these years. The number increases by approximately 14 percent year-on-year on average, " said Rob. "China's rapidly developing economy offers significant opportunities for both Air New Zealand and the broader New Zealand tourism industry."

New direct service will operate at the Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport alongside other Star Alliance members.

The non-stop flight is approximately 13 hours 15 minutes from Beijing to Auckland and 14 hours on the return trip from Auckland to Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2008)

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