China’s largest airline China Southern has restarted direct flights to Brisbane from its Guangzhou aviation hub, touching down at Brisbane International Airport for the first time in almost four years.
China Southern will initially fly four services a week, increasing to daily for the Chinese New Year travel season.
The return of China Southern was secured by the Palaszczuk Government’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, in partnership with Queensland’s international airports.
On board today’s non-stop flight from Guangzhou were the first two organised tour groups to arrive in Queensland since the Chinese Government’s relaxation of pandemic restrictions on group travel.
Over the next three years, China Southern services are predicted to bring up to 278,000 international visitors to Queensland.
“Today’s return of China Southern Airlines to Brisbane puts traction on the runway for fast-tracking the rebuild of Queensland’s international visitor economy,” said Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.
“China Southern reconnects Queensland with 169 cities in 39 countries who fly direct to Guangzhou’s international aviation hub, making this a strategic aviation service for recovery.”
Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said the new service will supercharge the inbound Chinese tourism market.
“Not only do we celebrate the return of China Southern Airlines, but with it, the very first direct group arrivals into Queensland since the pandemic,” he said.
“It is the group travel market and their itineraries that will deliver large numbers of tourists from China into this state’s regions including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and of course the Great Barrier Reef is a huge magnet.”
China Southern Airlines regional general manager Australia & NZ Jason Sun said the airline’s return is a testament to the support provided by the Queensland Government and Brisbane Airport.
“Through strong collaboration, China Southern Airlines aims to further expand the ‘Canton Route’ and contribute to the influx of tourists from China as well as business and leisure travellers from other parts of the globe to Queensland,” he said.