Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 28 Sep 2011
Total posts 302
China Southern CAN-CHC-CAN direct. This service has just been announced, three times a week from December. The issue of AKL centric international access to/from NZ was discussed recently in another Q&A. I suggested CZ would take an interest in ZQN direct, were it not for runway length and other conditions restricting aircraft to a320 or smaller. They have done the next best thing, CHC. Does anyone think ZQN should be actively considering expansion to cater for widebodies? Or will CAN-CHC follow other attempts at South Island access (other than to/from Australia) into oblivion?
Member since 07 Aug 2012
Total posts 58
SQ perseveres with SIN-CHC. I guess they benefit from their joint venture with NZ.
Rumours are going round that CX are looking at a CHC tag (though from where is not clear).
Member since 05 Jun 2014
Total posts 88
Perhaps the CNS service could go HKG-CNS-CHC rather than HKG-CNS-BNE could be a good option for New Zealanders going to Cairns too!
Air New Zealand - Airpoints
Member since 04 Sep 2012
Total posts 102
I believe the current set up works better with most south island traffic routing through CHC. CHC is a much larger airport which is capable of handling many passengers at a time. ZQN is more a regional airport and is notably busy (almost breaking point) if there are any more than 4 737/320's departing within an hour of each other.
ZQN has many limitations including the weather (snow is a major problem). There is also a safety restriction which limits flights during daylight hours only.
With the runway side of things, it cannot be increased in lengh. At one end is lake Wakatipu and the other is a deep gully with the shotover river at the bottom.
There have been talks in recent years to relocate the airport south to a smaller town called Lumsden, but this would be both expensive and impractical.
789 ops at 600 metres altitude would require about 10,000ft runway (this would be somewhat under MTW). I think ZQN has about 6200ft. Could 2000ft be found at each end? Of course lots of other work would be needed, but this looks like the dealbreaker. Night ops have been approved and willl soon begin - this should stretch arrival/departure window currently choking Australia flights. RNP already in place. Lumsden is 100km away, doesn't seem viable.
Member since 06 Jan 2015
Total posts 23
CHC has far superior facilities and with 4 connections a day to ZQN makes sense. Except with bad weather during winter over the southern alps the turbo props which mostly ply the route offer tourist a bumpy and at times bloody scary ride!
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