Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said today that
the decision by AAX to discontinue its Christchurch- Kuala Lumpur
service at the end of May was "extremely disappointing" given the
strong demand the service had from Malaysian travellers.
"By the end of April 2012, in just a year, Tourism New Zealand
estimates the AAX service will have attracted some 24,000 extra
visitors to Christchurch who will have spent over $60M in New
Zealand while they were here.
"This is a great boost in visitor arrivals from Malaysia during
what have been tough times for the industry in the South Island in
"Christchurch International Airport has done a great job looking
after the airline and by all accounts there is nothing that anyone
could have done to alter the business decision taken by AAX.
"What the AAX service has demonstrated is there is un-tapped
demand for New Zealand from Malaysia and its neighboring
"Tourism New Zealand will continue to promote New Zealand in
these markets alongside the travel trade and other airlines,
including Malaysian Airlines, Jetstar and Singapore Airlines,
providing convenient connections to New Zealand for potential
visitors," he said.