Perth Airport welcomes return of China Eastern flights to Shanghai


China Eastern Airlines has returned to Perth Airport with the launch of seasonal flights to Shanghai.

China Eastern had previously launched a trial service in 2020 that was later suspended due to the pandemic.

The new direct service will operate three times a week for a four-week period between January 20 and February 18, 2023.

It is hoped the new flights will boost visitation from China to Western Australia, which has dropped to 19,000 visitors this year compared to 67,000 visitors in 2019.

“We look forward to building a strong partnership with China Eastern Airlines to ensure the success of this service so we can look for other opportunities with this important airline partner,” said Perth Airport Acting CEO Kate Holsgrove.

“If we can further grow the number of visitors to Western Australia, the flow-on benefits for tourism operators, hotels, hospitality and retail outlets could be enormous.”

Tourism Council WA has welcomed the announcement saying the four-week seasonal trial was expected to inject more than $9 million into the WA economy.

“The trial is expected to bring 14 full planes of Chinese visitors to WA to celebrate Chinese New Year, catch up with friends and relatives, and enjoy a relaxing holiday in WA,” said Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall.

“Chinese visitors were the highest spending visitors pre-COVID, with the spend per visitor estimated at $5,000 in 2019.

“It is critical for the State Government to secure an ongoing direct service between Shanghai and Perth to recover WA’s Chinese visitors, who are the highest spending visitors and the second largest source of international arrivals to Australia.”