China Southern introduce twice daily flights to Melbourne
From October, China Southern Airlines will double its Melbourne service to offer twice daily flights between Melbourne and Guangzhou. The additional service is expected to add an additional 90,000 seats into Melbourne each year.
The new service will depart Melbourne at 11.30am and arrive in Guangzhou at 6.10pm. The return flight leaves Guangzhou at 9am and arrives in Melbourne at 9.30pm.
China Southern’s new double daily flight service between Mebourne and Guangzhou comes just 12 months after it introduced daily Melbourne flights, up from a previous three flights per week.
The move also extends China Southern’s international network through its SkyTeam alliance.
It is a coup for Melbourne Airport and the State of Victoria which has invested time and money into wooing China’s major airlines into using Melbourne as its port of call.
Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said the decision by China Southern to increase flights to Melbourne reaffirmed the value of Melbourne Airport’s strategy to make Melbourne a more welcoming destination for Chinese pokie online visitors who are responsible for the highest level of expenditure of all international visitor markets for Victoria.
“The new double daily service means that Victorians now have improved connections to the biggest domestic network in China as well as improved connections to favourite global destinations,” Mr Woodruff said.
In February, Tourism Victoria hosted a delegation of 24 senior representatives from China Southern Airlines in line with the state’s efforts to boost its links to China.
Tourism Australia has also worked hard to secure a stronger relationship with the Chinese airline. In June 2010, Tourism Australia and China Southern announced a new partnership agreement to increase travel between China and Australia.
Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Andrew McEvoy, said the outlook for travel from China to Australia continued to be positive, but steps needed to be taken to meet the evolving and complex needs of the market.
“Australia has had a good head start but still needs a robust plan for the future that focuses on the trade, consumers, aviation access, partnerships and shifts in market opportunity,” Mr McEvoy said.
“We will be concentrating our efforts on understanding the Chinese consumer as their needs continue to change and the market matures,” he said.
China Southern Airlines is the largest airline in China, and the sixth largest in the world.
In July, Jetstar became the latest international airline to announce a new service between China and Melbourne with its daily Beijing-Melbourne route via its Singapore hub. ■