Chinese airlines plans more flights Down Under

A China Eastern Airlines A330 takes off from Sydney Airport (photo by Mehdi Photos)
A China Eastern Airlines A330 takes off from Sydney Airport (photo by Mehdi Photos)

Two Chinese airlines are planning to launch new direct flights to Australia in the coming month, allowing passengers from more Chinese cities to head Down Under.

In a recent statement posted on its website, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) revealed that both Hainan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines have applied for new routes, all of which will be new city pairs.

Hainan Airlines is seeking permission to launch to Sydney from both Xi’an and Changsha, the respective capitals of China’s Shaanxi and Hunan provinces. Commencing in November 2015, these services will operate twice a week.

China Eastern Airlines meanwhile, has submitted an application to launch three weekly flights from Shanghai to Brisbane on 16 January 2016. The request follows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) recent approval of the proposed joint venture between Qantas and China Eastern, and Qantas would act as a codeshare partner on the new route.

Both Hainan Airlines and China Eastern plan to deploy their twin-aisle Airbus A330 aircraft on the new routes.

The move follows other recent announcements of Chinese airlines commencing flights to Australia. Xiamen Airlines has already confirmed plans to launch flights to Sydney from both Fuzhou and Xiamen – two cities in southeast China’s Fujian province – in November and December this year respectively. The new flights will be serviced using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

And China Southern Airlines will add extra flights from Guangzhou to Sydney and Brisbane, as well as launching three weekly Dreamliner flights to the New Zealand city of Christchurch in December 2015.

All of which means that by the end of 2015, six Chinese airlines will be operating direct flights to Australia: Air China, China Southern, China Eastern, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

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