China Southern steps up Aussie awareness

By admin

China Southern Airlines has spoken of its determination to become a “major player” in Australia, as executive vice president Tan Wan’geng predicted that Chinese visitors to Australia would break the one million mark by 2020.
The airline will increase its current schedule of 35 weekly flights between China and Australia to 55 by 2015 to cater to the expected boom.
“By 2015, China Southern will carry an estimated 1.2 million passengers between Australia and China, around half of them Chinese travellers coming to Australia for pleasure or business,” Wan’geng said.
He added that the airline was investing heavily in promoting Australia to the Chinese market.
This “bonanza” had the potential to generate $4 billion in direct benefits and $15 billion in indirect benefits for the Australian economy by the end of the decade, Wan’geng claimed.
He stressed that the airline’s major advantage over other Chinese competitors was its vast domestic network.
“We are well placed for travel into China because we are based in the south of China at Guangzhou, or old Canton,” he said.
He also confirmed that China Southern’s sponsorship of the Sydney Festival, worth $600,000 this year, would continue for a further three years. The sponsorship currently represents its “largest single marketing initiative in Australia”, but the airline is looking at additional ways to build brand awareness locally.
Wan’geng said that it would introduce Australian cabin crew to services over the coming months, and that it was also looking at sponsoring Australia’s lifeguards.
In June, the airline hopes to provide Aussies with an “alternative to the traditional Kangaroo Route” with the introduction of a three times weekly service to London Heathrow from Guangzhou and increase frequencies on its Paris and Amsterdam services, to be called the “Canton Route”.

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