China Southern has moved the debut of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Auckland forward to October 28, with a daily service between Auckland and Guangzhou – click here for details.
PREVIOUS | China Southern will begin flying its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Auckland in December, along with Vancouver, Paris and London, as tipped by Australian Business Traveller in April this year.
This will likely be the first Dreamliner to serve New Zealand and comes over six months ahead of Air New Zealand's debut of the stretched Boeing 787-9 in late 2014 on routes from Auckland to Shanghai, Tokyo and Perth.
The airline already has two 787s doing relatively short-distance runs from its Guangzhou hub in southern China to Beijing and Shanghai, but confirmed in a statement that "when they begin flying internationally they will offer services on the airline’s popular Canton Route to Vancouver, Paris and London as well as Auckland."
However, China Southern won't be locking its Dreamliners into daily runs on those routes.
For example, the next-gen jetliner will initially appear on only three flights per week on the Auckland-Guangzhou service across the summer peak period from December 4 to February 28, when the route will increase from seven to ten flights each week.
The current CZ305/306 service will continue using an Airbus A330, but the new flight – tagged as CZ335/336 – will run three days each week on a Boeing 787.
Those flights are:
- CZ336, departing Auckland at 10am on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday to arrive into Guangzhou at 5pm
- CZ335, leaving Guangzhou at 2.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to land in Auckland at 7am the following day
“We think the Dreamliner is ideal for the Auckland route and have decided to bring it on line on December 4 to see how it goes,” said Henry He, China Southern's Regional General Manager for Australia New Zealand.
China Southern's 228-seat Boeing 787 contains four first-class seats, 24 in business class and 200 in economy cabin, making it the first Boeing 787-8 with a first class cabin, although British Airways is planning a first class cabin for its 787-9s due in 2015.
China Southern also has five Airbus A380s on the way, with the superjumbo slated for Sydney-Guangzhou flights from October 27.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.