China Southern Celebrates A Decade Of New Zealand Flights

On Friday, April 9th, China Southern celebrated 10 years of flight service between China and New Zealand. The very first regular passenger service for the airline, between the Chinese mainland and New Zealand, took place on April 9th, 2011. The carrier celebrated the milestone by holding an event with Ronald McDonald House Charity at the Auckland City Hospital, in which special dinners were provided for hospitalized children and their families.

China Southern services to Auckland these days use a Boeing 787-9. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A charity celebration event

According to the Chinese state news website Xinhuanet, China Southern commemorated a decade of service to New Zealand with a celebration event on April 9th in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charity at the Auckland City Hospital.

It was here that guests and participants worked together to make dinners for the families with hospitalized children under the care of Ronald McDonald House. China Southern has also sponsored a number of other charity events in the local community.

In attendance at Friday’s event was the Chinese Vice Consul General in Auckland, Xiao Yewen.

China Southern’s largest international hub is at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN). The great circle distance between Guangzhou’s airport and Auckland airport is 5,769 miles – typically a 10 and a half hour flight. Photo: GCMap.com

Reaffirming China Southern’s commitment to providing an “air bridge between China and New Zealand,” the carrier’s Auckland Office General Manager, Lily Wang, expressed hope for the company’s future development in New Zealand, once the global health crisis subsides. “We will come out the other side better and stronger,” said Wang.

10 years of New Zealand service

A China Southern Airlines aircraft first landed at Auckland Airport on April 9th, 2011, marking the first regular passenger flight between the Chinese mainland and New Zealand. Since then, China Southern has served 2.26 million passengers and 63,000 tons of cargo between the two countries.

2020 was a much more challenging year for China Southern service to New Zealand. With the country’s international borders shut down, passenger flights have been scarce. However, the airline has continued its flight services between China and New Zealand to facilitate essential travel and cargo transportation.

A total of 326 flights have been operated since COVID-19 first emerged. These flights have carried over 68,000 passengers and 6,000 tons of cargo.

On the other end of the route, Air New Zealand has been running a twice-weekly freight service to Guangzhou. Similar to China Southern’s 787 services, Air New Zealand has been using its Dreamliners to transport time-sensitive and perishable freight, in addition to general freight. Photo: Air New Zealand

What is Ronald McDonald House?

With chapters in countries around the world, the goal of Ronald McDonald House is to provide accommodation and support services to families who must travel away from their homes to receive special medical treatment. The charity also provides accommodation to family members of children who also have to travel great distances for special care.

“Ronald McDonald House Charity New Zealand enables family centered medical care by ensuring families can remain together, close by the partnering hospital,” the organization says on its website.

In New Zealand, the average length of stay is seven days, many families will to stay for weeks and months on end.

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