Cairns-Shanghai air link confirmed

Cairns-Shanghai air link confirmed
By admin

China Eastern Airlines has confirmed it will touch down in Cairns later this year, delivering a major boost to tourism businesses in North Queensland.

The three times weekly A330-200 service, flagged by Travel Today earlier this month, will add to the 14 direct weekly services already operated by the airline from Shanghai to Sydney and Melbourne.

Tourism minister Martin Ferguson said the new flights would help local businesses capitalise on the thriving Chinese market.

“Of more than a half a million Chinese visitors to Australia, over 226,000 travelled to Queensland in the year ending March 2012, with 88,000 of these visiting the region around Cairns,” he said.

“Access to Australia and regional airports such as Cairns are vital to securing this growth."

Meanwhile, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy confirmed the tourism body would undertake joint marketing activities with China Eastern, China’s second largest airline, to promote the new route using traditional and digital media platforms.

“With the number of Chinese visitors to Cairns and surrounding regions up 39% last year, the market is clearly there and I’m very hopeful that we’ll see China Eastern quickly ramp up its initial foray into the region,” he said.

The new route is the latest in a burst of air capacity from China, following the start of China Southern Airlines services from Guangzhou to Perth in November last year.

McEvoy credited a co-ordinated approach from regional, state and federal tourism authorities with securing the “much needed” new air links.

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