In December 2015, Air New Zealand will start flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital city and often called the "Paris of the South America". This will be the airline's first ever scheduled service to South America in its 75 years of operation. Buenos Aires will be our 28th international port and is the most popular tourist city in South America. This beautiful city is alive with distinctive old neighbourhoods, a thriving nightlife and unique architecture. Blending its South American essence with an early European influence, it is known for its rich cultural life even boasting the highest concentration of theatres in the world.
Argentina is not only an exciting new destination for New Zealanders, this is also a big opportunity for us to capture traffic out of Australia wanting to visit South America by connecting seamlessly via Auckland. The new service will also enable Argentinians to travel directly to New Zealand and then onto Australia on Air New Zealand's extensive trans-Tasman network or onto Singapore, South East Asia, Hong Kong and China.
To ensure the success and ongoing growth and development of this new service, Air New Zealand is establishing an operational base in Buenos Aires of about 15 people which will provide the critical support required in administration, governance, market development, sales and airport operations. These roles will do a great job of representing New Zealand as a destination and inspiring travellers onto Air New Zealand as their preferred airline of choice.
This will be our first scheduled service to South America, meaning that by this time next year we will be operating three return services a week year-round on our upgraded Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
Argentinians love their rugby although not quite as much as New Zealanders of - course! But its great timing for the Super Rugby tournament which will expand in 2016 to include a Buenos Aires based team for the first time as it grows into the Super 18!