Christchurch's deputy mayor Vicki Buck says she is in shock at Air New Zealand's decision to cut its Tokyo to Christchurch service.
A statement from Air New Zealand said its research showed Japanese travellers preferred to fly directly to Auckland and its decision was also driven by the extra cost of flying direct to Christchurch.
The airline said the Tokyo to Auckland service would arrive early in the morning so passengers could transfer to domestic flights to Christchurch.
Ms Buck said the council found out about the decision through the media.
She said Japanese tourists spend the majority of their money in the South Island and not flying them directly to the place they want to go did not make any sense.
"Clearly it's a great tourism destination, that's where people want to go. Singapore Airlines can see that, Emirates can see that, from our point of view it's just really odd that New Zealand can't see that."
Ms Buck said Christchurch Airport officials were now in Asia trying to find a replacement for the Tokyo service.