Auckland Airport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mumbai Airport that will see the two airports form a ‘sister airport’ relationship.
The partnership has been established with objectives that include increasing international air links and tourism between and beyond both airports’ respective countries.
Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says that the sistership is important as India is a key market for New Zealand and is a key focus for Tourism New Zealand over the next three years.
“With over 31,250 Indian visitor arrivals to New Zealand in the last 12 months, and over 80% of these visitors entering through Auckland Airport, we consider India to be a very important market for us,” says Wedlock.
AKL TARGETS 69,000 INDIAN ARRIVALS
“The Indian travel market also represents a huge growth opportunity for New Zealand tourism. Our Ambition 2020 strategy targets 69,000 Indian arrivals by 2020 which is equivalent to 14% growth per annum over the next six years.
“Recently we have seen some impressive growth from the Indian market. January 2014 saw Indian visitors to Auckland increase by 16% when compared to the same period last year.
“We will also be working closely together to stimulate more Indian visitor arrivals to New Zealand in the peak Indian travel times of May and December, thus increasing growth in New Zealand’s shoulder tourism season.”
Naveen Chawla, Vice President Aero Marketing from GVK Mumbai International Airport says: “This association between both our airports is very timely. The new integrated Terminal 2 at Mumbai with enhanced airport infrastructure is capable of handling the expected growth in the passenger traffic and can also accommodate all types of aircraft with adequate parking bays. The whole airport experience is enhanced with customised retail, food and beverage, branded duty free and overall passenger experience.”
“We are confident that this partnership would enhance the famous “Spirit of Mumbai”, and will also enable visitors from New Zealand to appreciate the city’s unique culture, values, cuisine and traditions.
Wedlock says that between Auckland and Mumbai Airports there are rich connections through South East Asian hubs that are popular choices by Indian travellers. The Cricket World Cup will also be hosted in New Zealand next year.
Asia & Pacific,
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