Sichuan confirms Melbourne flights

Sichuan confirms Melbourne flights
By admin

Sichuan Airlines will become the fifth Chinese carrier to fly to Australia after confirming plans to operate three weekly flights between Chengdu and Melbourne.

But the flights are pending regulatory approval and no launch date has been set.

The move follows the formation of a “sister airport relationship” between Melbourne and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport earlier this year.

It will be the first direct connection from Australia to one of China’s huge secondary cities – the new targets of Tourism Australia. Chengdu has a population of almost 15 million.

Tourism Australia chief executive Andrew McEvoy said: “Chengdu represents one of China’s emerging secondary cities and largest aviation hubs in central western China and has the potential to open up significant new markets for us.

“Our research has clearly demonstrated the appetite for travel among the new middle classes in these cities but to fully realise these opportunities it’s critical that we get more capacity and, in particular, more direct flights.”

The timing of the announcement is heaven sent for Tourism Australia which has just named Chengdu as one of three secondary cities it will target as part of an Asia Marketing Fund.

Tourism leaders and airports travelled to Chengdu in April as part a high level delegation to promote direct flights.

The services will provide 850 weekly seats and bring the total number of annual seats between China and Melbourne to 44,200.

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