Seafood and other perishable cargo make up a large percentage of freight, and last year more than 500 tons of lobster from New Zealand was transported on China Southern flights, Yao says.
The carrier also is continuing to upgrade the aircraft on existing routes, says He. Currently, China Southern uses its Airbus A330-223s on the Auckland route, with 217 seats offered in a four-class configuration.
China Southern generally uses A330-243s on the Australian routes, which are older than the A330-223s but have more seats. Unlike the newer -223s, the -243s do not have lie-flat business-class seats or individual inflight entertainment screens throughout the aircraft.
The airline plans to introduce A330-223s on its Brisbane and Perth routes from April. The Sydney and Melbourne routes, with higher demand, use either the larger A330-243s or A330-300s. Newer aircraft could be put on the Sydney and Melbourne routes later this year, says He.