Air New Zealand begins a twice-weekly cargo service between Auckland and Guangzhou in Southern China

February 14th, 2021
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Air New Zealand has begun a twice-weekly cargo service between Auckland and Guangzhou in southern China. The flights will operate using Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Time-sensitive and perishable shipments, in addition to general freight, will get loaded at both Auckland and Christchurch before the plane heads up to China.

Air New Zealand’s first freight flight to Guangzhou departed the terminal on the 3rd of February after picking up freight in Christchurch on Wednesday, February 3, the inaugural flight, NZ1082, left Auckland late that afternoon. The 9,800-kilometer flight north to Guangzhou took just over 11 hours to complete. A six and a half-year-old Boeing 787-9, ZK-NZE, operated the service.

“We’re really excited to be able to connect New Zealand businesses to Guangzhou and vice versa. We know it hasn’t been easy for exporters and importers, so it’s great to be able to offer more connectivity,” says Air New Zealand General Manager of Cargo, Anna Palairet.

By offering a stop in Christchurch, this will help more businesses get their cargo to China and ensure our partners in Guangzhou get the freshest, high-quality products New Zealand has to offer.”

Over the busy Chinese New Year season, Air New Zealand sent three Dreamliner services up to Guangzhou. Thereafter, flights dropped back to twice weekly. It’s a potentially lucrative route. Two-way trade between China and New Zealand is estimated to be worth US$23 billion a year, making China New Zealand’s largest trading partner.

Before Christmas, New Zealand’s Government extended the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme until March 2021 to keep critical freight and exports flowing. This scheme helps underwrite freight flights.

“The scheme has helped airfreight return to 90% of pre-COVID levels. This means we can keep getting time-critical freight like medicines into New Zealand and enable our exporters to get their goods to international markets,” said NZ Transport Minister, Michael Wood.

“Normally airlines used to rely on a mix of passenger and air freight revenue to make international flights viable. Unfortunately, the pandemic has almost completely eliminated revenue from international passenger services.”

“That’s why we have agreed to provide targeted funding for international airfreight flights to make sure they can run.”