Qantas spreads wings in China

Qantas will fly an Airbus A330 to Beijing
Qantas will fly an Airbus A330 to Beijing

Qantas will expand its operations in China next year with the launch of a new service between Sydney and Beijing.

Commencing on 25 January 2017, flights will operate daily using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The outbound services will depart Sydney at 1350 and arrive in Beijing at 2240. Return flights will then leave at 0015 or 0020 and arrive back in Sydney at 1455.

This will mark Qantas’ return to the route for the first time since 2009 and Beijing will become the Australian carrier’s third destination in Greater China, joining its existing daily services to Shanghai and four daily flights to Hong Kong.

The new Beijing-Sydney route will be operated as part of Qantas’ joint venture with China Eastern Airlines. Three other Sino-Australian routes are also being added to the bilateral agreement: Sydney-Hangzhou, Sydney-Kunming and Brisbane-Shanghai.

“The tourism industry in Australia is very excited about what the Chinese market will deliver over the next few years, especially given it’s already become our second biggest source of visitors after New Zealand,” said Qantas’ group chief executive, Alan Joyce. “There are 21 million people in Beijing alone and from the start of next year they will be just one Qantas flight away. The potential is tremendous.

“We’re seeing strong loads on our existing Shanghai and Hong Kong services, and on this new Beijing route we’ll have the advantage of China Eastern marketing the Qantas flight as part of their own network,” he added.

This growth forms part of the Qantas’ broader focus on Asia, with around 50% of Qantas’ and Jetstar’s international capacity now directed to the region, compared with 30% 10 years ago. Over the past 12 months, Qantas has added flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

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