BRISBANE- Queensland’s tourism sector and economy are in for a substantial uplift with the announcement from China Southern Airlines (CZ) about the revival of direct flights connecting Guangzhou (CAN) and Brisbane (BNE), Australia.
The initial phase will encompass four weekly flights, gradually expanding to daily services. This strategic move is anticipated to infuse nearly $441 million into the visitor economy. These, over the course of three years, will create approximately 1,790 job opportunities in Queensland.
China Southern to Resume Guangzhou-Brisbane
The fruitful partnership between the Palaszczuk Government and the state’s four international airports, backed by aviation funding of $200 million, has effectively secured the reinstatement of direct flights from China to Queensland.
Starting November 17, 2023, China Southern Airlines will operate four non-stop weekly flights with its Airbus A350 between Guangzhou and Brisbane. Further, with a progressive plan to transition to daily flights within a span of two years.
In its inaugural operational year, China Southern Airlines’ operations will introduce 59,000 inbound seats to Brisbane International Airport.
Over the ensuing three years, the airline is anticipated to provide almost 278,000 inbound international seats. This will lead to an economic boost of approximately $441 million for the visitor economy and contribute to nearly 1,790 job opportunities in Queensland.
Pre Pandemic Outlook
Before the 2019 pandemic, China held the position of being Queensland’s primary source of international visitors. It accounted for a substantial overnight visitor expenditure of over $1.61 billion from around 497,000 Chinese travelers.
It’s worth noting that China also plays a pivotal role in being a significant source of international students for Queensland’s vital services export sector, with a recorded 21,680 enrollments in 2022, reports Travel daily news.
The recent decision by the Chinese Government to lift the pandemic-induced suspension on its Approved Destination Status scheme marks a positive step towards reinstating outbound group travel to Australia.
The return of China Southern Airlines’ services marks the 25th direct international service facilitated by the $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF).
These services are poised to offer more than 1.91 million direct inbound international seats. Further contributing up to $1.49 billion to the visitor economy. Thereupon generating 18,566 employment opportunities in Queensland.
Stirling Hinchliffe, the Tourism Minister, stated,
“Securing China Southern from Guangzhou is a transformative move and a pivotal step towards rejuvenating Queensland’s international visitor economy post-pandemic. Queensland’s allure as Australia’s favored holiday destination is set to be reignited, and we anticipate Chinese travelers rediscovering our captivating visitor experiences.”
Subsequently, Jason Sun, China Southern’s Regional General Manager for Australia and NZ, emphasized the airline’s dedication to resuming operations in Queensland, asserting,
“China Southern Airlines aims to expand the ‘Canton Route further,’ thus contributing to an influx of tourists from China, as well as business and leisure travelers from various parts of the world, to Queensland.”
Furthermore, Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO of Brisbane Airport, warmly welcomed the reinstatement of the direct flight service, underscoring its significance in reconnecting Queensland with the lucrative Chinese tourism market.
As Queensland prepares for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, China Southern’s return underscores the commitment to nurturing economic growth. Further fostering international engagement and fortifying a vibrant tourism industry.
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