LONDON – Air New Zealand (ANZ) has announced plans to expand its Pacific taking to Seoul, South Korea from November 23 this year.

Services to the capital will commence on a three times per week basis using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, offering 12 hours flying time northbound and 11 hours southbound.

Commenting on the new route announcement was the airline’s Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace.

“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.”

NZ75 will depart Auckland at 1255L before arriving into Seoul at 1955L on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The return, NZ76 will depart at 2145L, before arriving back into Auckland at 1255 the next day.

Between December 23, 2019 to February 22, 2020, services will commence on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays instead.

This new route will be a re-establishment rather than a fresh new route. Services to the capital previously operated in the mid-1990s but were suspended due to demand elsewhere.

On top of this big route announcement, there have been upgrades in the ANZ network.

Taipei and Chicago services, which both operate thrice weekly, will be upgauged to five weekly due to significant success on the routes. The upgrades will take place from the Winter.

It will be interesting to see how this new route will fare. If there has been extended success in nearby Taipei, then the trend may continue in the South Korean market too on both sides.