A new way to New Zealand with China Airlines

Victorians will soon have better access to New Zealand, with China Airlines to launch flights between Melbourne Airport and Auckland from early December.

The Taiwanese carrier will offer service between Melbourne and Auckland with a state-of-the-art Airbus A350 featuring lie-flat premium business class seats, premium economy and full-service economy.

The service will operate as a seasonal tag to China Airlines’ flights from Taipei to Melbourne and will provide Australian and New Zealand-based passengers with a new option to cross the Tasman.

Taking capacity in the Auckland market back to 100 per cent of pre pandemic levels, the new flights will add more than 3,000 seats a week to the route in time for the busy summer holiday period.

In Taipei for the announcement, Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos said the new service would increase competition across the Tasman and help put downward pressure on fares.

“Having a fourth airline on this important route is fantastic news for travellers because of the extra choice it offers in both product and schedule,” he said.

“The launch of this new service will coincide with the start of the December school holidays meaning hundreds more seats are available just when families need them most.

“China Airlines is making the most of what would otherwise be down time for its aircraft in Melbourne to operate this new service, and it’s a great result for consumers.

“It also gives Kiwis a new option to Asia, with passengers from Auckland able to connect through Melbourne on China Airlines to Taipei and beyond.

“Additional services and increased competition are critical during a time when we’re seeing softening passenger numbers amid cost-of-living challenges and still-high airfares.”

Melbourne Airport saw 824,278 international passengers in the month of May. This was an 11 per cent increase on the previous year, but that figure represents only 97 per cent of the international travellers processed in May 2019.

Domestically, the airport welcomed 1,907,906 travellers, just 2 per cent higher than May 2023.

Flight CI057 will operate every day except Monday and Saturday, departing Melbourne Airport at 13:40 and arriving in Auckland at 19:05.

The return CI058 service will depart Auckland at 21:05 and arrive into Melbourne Airport at 22:55 before continuing on to Taipei at 00:25.

Passenger figures for May 2024: 

PassengersMay 2024 May 2023Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)2,733,0352,608,088+5%
Total (ex transits)2,733,035

*Monthly percentage growth compared to May 2023

Passenger figures for Financial Year to date:

Passengers  Financial Year 2023/24 Financial Year 2022/23Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)32,355,52228,109,174+15%
Total (ex transits)32,355,522

*percentage growth compared to FY 2022/23