Select Page

TRIP REPORT: Christchurch Airport – small, spacious and efficient

TRIP REPORT: Christchurch Airport – small, spacious and efficient
Series: Christchurch to Sydney in Emirates First Class

If you haven’t read my ‘kindness of strangers’ paragraph at the end of the review of The George Hotel, Christchurch, then head over there now. I had a lovely trip to the airport in a lovely Mercedes Coupe, offered by the uniform supplier to The George Hotel. We chatted about how the city is recovering post-earthquake, and the general way of the world. Very pleasant.

The hotel’s check-out time was 11 am., but I had stretched this to midday with the front desk’s permission. My Emirates flight wasn’t due to depart until 5:45 pm., and check-in would not open until three hours prior, so I had some time to kill at the airport.

The trip between The George Hotel and the Airport is around 15 minutes, depending on traffic. I arrived at 12:18 pm.

a building with trees and a sign
Pedestrian access to Christchurch Airport [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Content of this Post:

New Airport

The Christchurch Airport looks brand new. In reality, what we see now is the culmination of a rebuilding program to replace the ageing separate domestic and international terminals. The project started in 2006 and culminated in the opening of the new integrated terminal in 2013. The airport was largely unaffected by the earthquake in February 2011.

people in an airport
Air New Zealand at Christchurch Airport [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The combined international and domestic terminal is about 78 thousand square metres. The airport has a total of 37 gates, 12 for regional turboprop flights (gates 3-14). Gates 15, 15a,15b, and 15c are shared between domestic and regional turboprop services. Domestic services are covered by gates 16 to 22a. International services occupy getes 23-35, with all but two (31 & 33) having jetbridges. Some gates/jetbridges do double domestic and international service. Gate 30 has dual jetbridges for use with the A380.

a luggage carousel in a airport
Luggage carousel at arrivals, Christchurch Airport [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

At the time of my travel (September 2023), the airport serviced 11 scheduled airlines, covering 18 domestic and 10 international destinations. Airlines include Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Jetstar, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and United.

a sign with text and numbers on it
Christchurch Airport, check-in times for my flight to Australia. [Schuet/2PAXfly]


So I had about 2.5 hours to kill before I could check in, and then close to another three hours in the Manaia Lounge before my flight.

I spent the two hours wandering about, having a look around, and the rest of the time warming a cafe seat and pre-loading for my lounge experience with a muffin and some coffee. It’s a very spacious airport without being huge and unmanageable.

people standing at a counter
Check in counters for the Emirates flight at Christchurch Airport [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Check-in opened promptly, as advertised, at 2:15 pm. I think I was second in the queue. Check-in was graciously handled, and I was soon turning left and on my way through Departures to discover the Manaia Lounge and its delights.

people walking in a building
Heading to the departure gates at Christchurch Airport, New Zealand [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Killing time in an airport is one of my least favourite things to do. Christchurch Airport around midday was not busy, and its airy, large public spaces contributed to and air of relaxation. The built environment of the airport along with that kiwi relaxed and friendly attitude made my time-killing pleasant. I was readying for the main game – my flight to Sydney in Emirates First Class.

I’m currently planning a return to Christchurch later this year. I’ll update my impressions of the airport then.

Other Posts in the Series
<< HOTEL REVIEW: The George Hotel, Christchurch (Ōtautahi). Luxurious local comfort.LOUNGE REVIEW: Manaia Lounge, Christchurch, New Zealand >>

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!