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Air China to fly Beijing-Auckland daily

A new strategic alliance between Air New Zealand and Air China will boost airline capacity between Auckland and mainland China by more than 25 per cent, Air NZ says.

Air NZ will continue to operate daily flights between Auckland and Shanghai, and Air China will operate a new daily direct service between Auckland and Beijing from December 10.

The two national carriers will codeshare on each others' services between New Zealand and China, under the alliance signed off by Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

They will compete with services operated by China Southern, China Eastern and Cathay Pacific.

Air NZ says its customers will get better access to Air China's comprehensive domestic network, while Air China customers will have enhanced access to Air NZ's network including domestic New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and South America.

Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon says the agreement between the two airlines will help deepen tourism and business connections between China and New Zealand.

"China is New Zealand's second largest inbound visitor market and by collaborating with a strong, well-respected home market carrier like Air China we can work together to grow this market, and benefit customers through a new direct link between New Zealand and Beijing," he said.

Both airlines are members of Star Alliance.