30 NOV 2017: What can you do in 14 hours? Fly to New Zealand on board the Air New Zealand YVR-AKL direct service. That’s what 66,000 Canadians travelling to New Zealand have enjoyed doing this past year. (VIDEO)

…and judging by the national carrier, executives are happy over the 19 percent growth in Canadian bookings.

The news was announced during a special event celebrating 10 years of Air New Zealand’s service to Canada. In addition, starting in January Air New Zealand is expanding its Vancouver-Auckland operations by nearly 20 percent, adding 15,600 new seats to the route, giving clients more opportunities to enjoy Kiwi culture and experiences.

Maureen Kam, country manager in Canada with Air New Zealand, who spoke to guests from the travel trade, air suppliers and tour operators at a reception held recently at the new Globe and Mail Centre, explained that further increasing the frequency of the non-stop service between Vancouver and Auckland provides Canadian travellers with more travel options.

“This is great for Canadians who want to escape the bitter winter cold to experience New Zealand’s incredible and unspoiled scenery during our summer,” she said.

The announcement also follows a new global brand campaign, A Better Way To Fly, launched a couple of months ago in Canada. The marketing campaign features Pete, the talking kiwi bird whose familiar patois is by New Zealand actor Sam Neil.

Watch full videokiwi

Guests heard passengers on board Air New Zealand’s long haul flight enjoy fresh food menus crafted by internationally renowned chefs, a rich wine selection of New Zealand’s finest vintages, and a roster of in-flight entertainment.

Seat selections include true lie-flat beds in the Business Premier cabin and spacious luxury leather seats in Premier Economy. For clients in Economy, the signature Economy Skycouch is a unique product in the aviation industry that has garnered innovation awards since it launched in 2011.

Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of the Globe and Mail who is also the Honorary Consul for New Zealand in Toronto reflected on his travels with the airline while working in New Zealand for the New Zealand Herald and welcomed guests to the new centre which opened earlier this year.

Daniel Mellsop, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada, relayed that Air New Zealand has consistently been voted as the best airline of the year for the fifth consecutive year by AirlinesRatings.com. The High Commissioner further noted the success has been attributed to continuous innovation, a young fleet, environmental leadership, staff motivation, and an outstanding financial performance.

In August, the airline recorded $527-million earnings before taxation for the 2017 financial year, which is the second highest profit in company history.

Mellsop received loud applause and cheers when he encouraged the airline to open a direct YYZ service to New Zealand. “Keep pushing to have direct flights to Toronto.”

The Vancouver route is serviced by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring the airline’s innovative Economy Skycouch and award-winning lie-flat Business Premier bed.

 

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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