Air New Zealand has announced it will launch direct flights between Auckland and Buenos Aires, Argentina - the airline’s first scheduled service to South America.

An Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate three return services a week on the route all year round. The carrier's CEO, Christopher Luxon, says the new destination opens up an exciting new world for travellers from both New Zealand and Australia. He said: "South America was once the domain of the intrepid explorer, but the direct service to Buenos Aires, with a flight time of around 12 hours, means a quick and action packed getaway is now a reality. “Buenos Aires is the most popular tourist city in South America and is a perfect stepping stone for those who then want to explore the country, or continent, further.

“We’ve been very clear about our aspirations for growth in the Pacific Rim. Our flights to Singapore commence next month and this new route to Buenos Aires further strengthens our network in the Pacific Rim. Argentina is an exciting new destination for New Zealanders, and with seamless one-stop connectivity through Auckland it will provide a fantastic opportunity for Australians as well.”

The service will also enable Argentineans to travel directly to New Zealand and then on to Australia on Air New Zealand’s extensive trans-Tasman network, or to Singapore and South East Asia. Air New Zealand will enter into a code share agreement with Aerolíneas Argentinas, subject to obtaining regulatory approvals, which will see Aerolíneas Argentinas’ code return to the South Pacific market on the new route and on key connecting Trans-Tasman services, and Air New Zealand will code share on Aerolíneas Argentinas’ services to Brazil.

Flights will commence in December 2015, with tickets on sale in March, subject to obtaining necessary approvals

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