China Eastern Airlines has begun a year-round service between Auckland and Shanghai, adding thousands of seats to the increasingly popular route and providing connections for the two destinations in all seasons.
The first flight of the new service landed on Saturday the 26th of September, and was welcomed to Auckland in style by a salute from the on-site firetrucks and a powhiri (a traditional Maori welcome) by a group of the local native people. Currently, the flights are scheduled four times per week, but the frequency will increase to daily in January 2016.
Previous connections by China Eastern between New Zealand
and Shanghai have been limited to seasonal scheduling. The expansion of the service and addition of seats for thousands more passengers is prompted by increased demand, and the proven success of the seasonal flights.
“The commencement of China Eastern Airlines’ year-round service is great news and evidence of the strong growth in air connectivity between New Zealand and China
in recent years,” said Norris Carter, general manager aeronautical commercial at Auckland Airport. He expects that the expansion of the service will “deliver new travel market opportunities from mainland China, via Shanghai, especially for tourists seeking premium travel experiences in New Zealand.”
Two cities connected
Both Auckland and Shanghai, now just a little easier to reach for many globetrotters, have a lot to offer a visitor. Here’s a quick overview for any travellers headed in either direction:
Known as the City of Sails, this small but vibrant metropolis spreads around two harbours, with the CBD centred on the sparkling waters of the Waitemata. It’s a place of many different faces: the trendy waterfront cafes and bars of downtown, the sheltered swimming beaches of the North Shore, the Pasifika flavour of the southern suburbs and the wild mountains and surf beaches of the Western boundaries.
However, for many visitors its primary purpose is as a gateway to the scenic wonders of New Zealand. Pick up a rental car at Auckland Airport
, or transfer to a domestic flight and get your wheels in Wellington
. From there, a wonderland of beautiful landscapes awaits. Lakes backed by snowy peaks, long sandy beaches, small rocky coves, undulating farmland, alpine scrub... the list of what you can see in the Land of the Long White Cloud is endless.
There’s a touch of mystique about this big and bustling city - even the name evokes an oriental glamour. Eastern and western cultures blend here in a unique fusion, as China’s colonial legacy is underpinned by a much more ancient history. There is no end of things to do and see in this enormous urban centre, from a cruise around the impressive Bund shoreline to an authentic Chinese tea ceremony experience.
Pick up a car rental at Shanghai Pudong Airport
and not only can you visit the far reaches of the city, but take to the roads to explore the wonders of Eastern China. Within a day or two’s drive are the beautiful Mount Huang, the incredible Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou and the rich architecture and history of Hangzhou.