China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has expanded its Shanghai and Beijing services, with new direct flights to Hangzhou, Kunming and Wuhan.
Business is booming for China Eastern Airlines (CEA) this week, as the airline announced it will now serve six mainland China cities from Sydney; Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Kunming, Nanjing and Wuhan by the end of January 2017.
The announcements coincide with the airlines 60th anniversary and 20 successful years of non-stop flights between Australia and China. Heralding their commitment to the Australian market, the rapid growth will see the introduction of new Boeing 777-300ER’s, as well as a massive 58 flights operating between the two countries weekly.
Another Australian first, CEA will launch direct services from Sydney to Kunming and Hangzhou in November 2016. Other services will include:
- Increase to double daily flights on Melbourne to Shanghai service, from November 2016 to February 2017.
- The introduction of Brisbane to Shanghai flights, four times weekly from December 2016.
- Increase to double daily flights for Sydney to Shanghai service, from mid-December to February 2017.
- Introduction of Sydney to Beijing service (codeshare with Qantas) from January 2017.
- Launch of new Sydney to Wuhan route, commencing January 2017.
According the China Eastern Airlines General Manager for Oceania, Kathy Zhang, CEA’s new routes are designed to meet passenger demand and continue to consolidate CEA’s reputation as a global connector for Australian travelers.
“The new CEA routes reflect surging demand with a 23% growth in Chinese visitors to Australia in 2016. It brings an additional 3,003 seats a week between Australia and China, contributing significantly to local visitor expenditure. China is Australia’s largest source for tourists and China Eastern Airlines is geared up to service this demand”, said Ms Zhang.
The new CEA routes will bring world-class service to the Australian market, with the latest technology and amenities on-board the Boeing 777-300ER featuring on the Shanghai services from Melbourne and Sydney in 2016. In addition, visa-free transit valid for 144 hours for Australian passport holders who hold an onward ticket, transiting in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, will also enhance traveler’s regional connectivity.
It is through the addition of these new ‘Boomerang’ routes that CEA is committed “to extending Australia’s tourism footprint to important secondary cities in mainland China.”
“It will deepen global business opportunities, as reflected by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), provide greater connectivity for passengers and directly connect two of the world’s most respectful cultures, acting as a gateway for Australia to the globe,” said Ms Zhang.
The joint co-operation agreement with Qantas and alliance with SkyTeam members streamline CEA’s position as a truly global airline.
“These extra services highlight the fact that tourists from China are voting with their feet, coming to NSW in huge numbers to experience the best of what our state has to offer,” said Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.
“Chinese passengers represent our fastest growing and largest inbound visitor market, and we’re determined to ensure continued growth well into the future,” said Mr. Constance.