China Southern readies to resume flights to Brisbane Airport

China Southern readies to resume flights to Brisbane Airport
Edited by Travel Weekly

    China Southern Airlines is set to fly to Brisbane from China 4 times per week, growing to daily within two years in a boom announcement for the QLD state.

    China was Queensland’s biggest tourism earner before Covid-19 contributing $1.61 billion in overnight visitor expenditure. It has been the largest missing link in the international recovery since the pandemic cancelled direct flights in 2020.

    Over three years the reignited service will land almost 278,000 inbound seats to Brisbane, generating nearly $441 million for the visitor economy and supporting up to 1,790 Queensland jobs.

    Brisbane Airport CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, recently returned from Guangzhou following personal negotiations with China Southern Airlines and spoke on the news.

    “Currently more than half of Queensland’s visitors from China are forced to fly via Sydney or Melbourne and the rest are coming via destinations like Singapore and Hong Kong,” Graaff, said.

    “Today’s announcement will restore Queensland’s direct connection to our most lucrative market.

    “No single country has a bigger impact on Queensland’s tourism industry as China. We welcome China Southern Airlines back to the BNE family, and the thousands of tourists who will follow, and the good jobs they’ll support across Queensland.

    “The timing is perfect with the announcement on Thursday by the Chinese Government that it will allow travel agencies in China to book outbound group travel to Australia.”

    China Southern has been the largest airline in Asia by fleet size for a long time and the largest in China by the number of passengers carried, its services to Brisbane will depart from the airline’s hub in Guangzhou.

    It was also the first Chinese airline to fly to Brisbane and operated here from 2010 until the pandemic closed borders. Pre-COVID, China Southern carried the most Chinese arrivals into the State and was the largest export air-cargo carrier from Queensland to China.

    “The resumption of this flight is a testament to the valuable support provided by the Queensland Government and Brisbane Airport to China Southern Airlines and showcases our shared vision for the future,” regional GM (AU/NZ), China Southern, Jason Sun, said.

    “Through this collaboration, China Southern Airlines aims to further expand the ‘Canton Route’ and, in turn, contribute to the influx of tourists from China as well as business and leisure travellers from other parts of the globe to Queensland.”

    Arrivals from China currently sit at just 12 per cent of pre-COVID figures.

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