Air New Zealand is expanding its Pacific Rim network with the announcement of a new direct service to Seoul, South Korea, by the end of the year.
The airline will fly three times per week to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport from November 23, 2019, and up to five times a week during the peak holiday period from late December – mid-February.
The new service will be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with a flight time of around 12 hours northbound and just over 11 hours southbound.
Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace says Seoul opens up exciting new opportunities for customers.
He said: “Seoul is a densely populated city with more than 10 million residents. Inbound leisure travel from South Korea to New Zealand has grown significantly in recent years presenting an important tourism growth opportunity for the airline and for the New Zealand tourism economy.
“We also want to encourage more Kiwi travellers to explore Seoul and South Korea. We’re thrilled to be offering customers easy direct access to another vibrant Asian destination to add to their bucket list.
“The new service will also help connect the estimated 40,000 Koreans already living in New Zealand more conveniently with friends and family in their home country.”
Air New Zealand first operated services between Auckland and Seoul in the mid-1990s but suspended the service when travel patterns changed and there was stronger demand elsewhere on its network.
Tickets for the new service will go on sale soon, subject to regulatory approvals and landing slot confirmation.
Meanwhile, the success of the airline’s newly launched Taipei and Chicago routes means it will be increasing frequency to up to five times a week at peak times.
Currently, Air New Zealand operates three services per week on each route. From November 2019, this will increase to up to five flights per week to Taipei during the peak Northern Winter flying season and from December 2019, this will increase to up to five services per week to Chicago over the New Zealand summer peak.