Chinese carriers fly back into Brisbane

BRISBANE is leading the way for the Chinese aviation market’s recovery, with both China Southern and China Eastern Airlines set to boost services to the Queensland capital.

China Southern has announced it will increase its Brisbane to Guangzhou flights from four weekly to daily for the summer season. It’s a move that signals strong expectations for the market, considering the airline is yet to launch the service.

Scheduled to take off from 17 November, the flights will be operated by the carrier’s new generation Airbus A350 aircraft, and will run daily between 08 December and 25 February.

“Chinese visitors love Brisbane, the Gold Coast and The Great Barrier Reef so the jobs from these tourists will be spread across the state,” Brisbane Airport Chief Gert-Jan de Graaff shared.

The 2032 Olympic Games are playing a pivotal role in attracting the lucrative market, he highlighted, adding “Chinese visitors view hosting an Olympics and Paralympic Games as an important marker of status for a city”.

Queensland Tourism Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, labelled the announcement as “another success” for the state’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF), and said Tourism and Events Queensland’s travel campaigns are “re-igniting Chinese visitors’ love of Queensland’s world-class destinations”.

In another win for the Sunshine State, China Eastern has revealed it is bringing back non-stop services between Shanghai and Brisbane from 29 October, marking the 26th international connected secured by the AAIF.

The carrier will deploy wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route, offering three flights per week and rising to daily seasonal flights from 08 December for the peak travel season.

“This is another sign Queensland’s Chinese tourism market is set to roar back to life,” de Graaff enthused. “With two carriers now set to resume services from mainland China, we’re forecasting China will likely regain its spot as Queensland’s number one source for inbound tourists in 2024.”

Combined, the two Chinese airlines’ flights are forecast to generate around $314 million for Queensland’s visitor economy over three years, aiding the state’s goal of building an $11 billion international visitor economy by the 2032 Games.

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