As restrictions ease, demand for travel between Auckland and Shanghai has seen Air New Zealand increase capacity twice in the last month.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Commencing February 4, Air New Zealand will increase its operations between Auckland International Airport (AKL) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) from three to four times weekly. New Zealand’s national carrier currently operates the route with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Adding the extra flight to its schedule with increase seat availability to 1200 direct seats per week between the two cities. As travel demand has soared over the Lunar New Year, Air New Zealand has seen demand for its Asian routes soar, with those to Shanghai already practically full. In January, the airline had already increased the service from twice to three times weekly.

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Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9

1200 seats between Auckland and Shanghai

After three years of COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand and China, the airline has seen families book early to spend time with their families and friends. Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty, spoke of the increased capacity expected from the national carrier:

“This will be the first Lunar New Year that Chinese living in Aotearoa can be reunited with their families for this special holiday,

“We’re seeing very strong demand across January for our flights into China. Most flights are full or close to full.”

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Schedule to Shanghai

Air New Zealand operates a convenient schedule between the two cities, enabling onward connections if required. Let’s have a look a the airline’s schedule below:

  • NZ289, departing Auckland International Airport (AKL) at 23:50, arriving at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) at 07:05 the next day
  • NZ288, departing Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) at 14:15, arriving at Auckland International Airport (AKL) at 06:40 the next day
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A strong rebound from New Zealand’s national carrier

For an airline that relatively only flew domestically throughout the pandemic, Air New Zealand has quadrupled in operations from January through to December 2022. Crippled by staffing shortages and operational disruptions, Greg Foran and his team have catapulted the national carrier to over 74% of its 2019 capacity (according to Cirium).

China Airlines 77F CHC

Photo: Christchurch Airport

Dedicated freight services in January to Taipei and beyond.

As expected, passenger and cargo services demand to China and Taiwan soars throughout the Lunar New Year period. This year saw eight dedicated cargo flights direct from Taipei to Christchurch to export fresh seafood, crayfish, cherries, and other consumables, granting the need for direct service.

Air New Zealand also operates a range of cargo services out of New Zealand’s second-largest city, with five Boeing 787 passenger aircraft as cargo flights continuing to Los Angeles and destinations in Asia five times per week for the next two months.

The national carrier operates two cargo-only flights to Shanghai weekly, and ahead of the Lunar New Year, will be transporting 500 tonnes of Central Otago cherries to China.

Sources:, Airline Weekly

  • Air New Zealand, Boeing 787, Paint issue

    Air New Zealand

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Greg Foran

    New Zealand

  • C919

    Shanghai Pudong International Airport

    IATA/ICAO Code:


    Shu Jun Shen

    Passenger Count :
    30,476,531 (2020)

    Runways :
    17L/35R – 4,000m (13,123ft) |16R/34L – 3,800m (12,467ft) |17R/35L – 3,400m (11,155ft) |16L/34R – 3,800m (12,467ft) |15/33 – 3,400m (11,155ft)

    Terminal 1 |Terminal 2


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