MP Megan Woods
Cllr Vicki Buck
Chris Lethbridge, Emirates Regional Manager for New Zealand
Malcolm Johns, CEO, Christchurch International Airport
Representatives of the travel industry and the Christchurch business community
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to join in welcoming the arrival of the first scheduled Emirates A380 aircraft to Christchurch and to officially thank Emirates for their commitment to our city and region.
This is a historic day for Christchurch and for our international gateway, Christchurch International Airport - I am exceptionally proud of what Malcolm and his team have delivered for our city, our region and indeed the whole of the South Island.
We see the Emirates' decision to bring the A380 to Christchurch as a huge vote of confidence in Christchurch, Canterbury, and the South Island, which has become as one of the world’s premiere tourist destinations. I was overseas recently and talking to a concierge about what I would do for an afternoon - the South Island was on his bucket list - he earned himself a selfie with the Mayor of Christchurch.
The truth is that the world has discovered the South Island and we have a huge summer on the way with increasing numbers of visitors coming to see Our Place in the World. Many of those increased numbers will now fly in on the Emirates A380.
Emirates is one of the biggest airlines in the world and you will now be flying the biggest aircraft in the world into our city.
Thank you once more for your commitment to Our Place in the World.