In just the last four months four international airlines commenced operations to New Zealand and one started code sharing here. Well actually the story is a little more complicated than that.
China Airlines (CI) from Taiwan recommenced services after a decade. Its operation to Auckland (AKL) from Taipei (TPE) via Brisbane (BNE) started on 1 January 2011 (see previous post).
Jetstar Asia Airways (3K) from Singapore (SIN) started operating to AKL on 18 March 2011 in direct competition with Singapore Airlines (SQ) (see previous post). This is only the third long-haul route to New Zealand to have such direct competition on the same sector - the others are AKL-LAX (NZ and QF) and AKL-HKG (NZ and CX). Jetstar Asia is actually wet-leasing VH registered aircraft from Qantas subsidiary Jetstar (JQ) in Australia. However, Jetstar had to obtain a Foreign Air Operator Certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority because the operation does not qualify to be covered by the mutual recognition of safety certification regime between Australia and New Zealand (see previous post). The new service is being provided under the MALIAT.
AirAsia X (D7) commenced operating to Christchurch (CHC) from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 1 April 2011 (see previous post). The airline is to be commended for persisting with the launch date despite the devastating Christchurch earthquakes.
China Southern Airlines (CZ) commenced operating from Guangzhou (CAN) to AKL on 9 April 2011 (see previous post). This is a major new non-stop addition to the set of long-haul air routes to New Zealand. The inaugural flight was welcomed by the Prime Minister John Key (he is also Minister of Tourism). The new service is being jointly promoted by the airline and Tourism New Zealand.
The excellent MRC Aviation blog has photographs of the new operations in New Zealand by CI, 3K, D7 and CZ.
Finally, Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) from the UK commenced code sharing to New Zealand on Air New Zealand (NZ) operations on 27 March 2011 (see Air New Zealand announcement dated 12 January 2011).
The next announced airline to recommence operating to New Zealand should be United Airlines (UA) in 2012 after it takes delivery of the B787 (see previous post). United already code shares to New Zealand.
I maintain a list of international airlines that serve (and those that have served) New Zealand on my homepages.