Sichuan Airlines is expected to launch direct services between Chengdu and Melbourne, according to a statement from Tourism Australia.
Though no precise details were given, the agency is preparing tourism promotion campaigns targeting the Chinese province which it visited in April this year, where securing more aviation capacity into Australia from China was a key feature of discussions.
“Chengdu represents one of China’s fastest emerging secondary cities and largest aviation hubs in central western China, and has the potential to open up significant new markets for us. Our research has clearly demonstrated the appetite for travel amongst the new middle classes in these cities but, to fully realise these opportunities it’s critical that we get more capacity and, in particular, more direct flights,” Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia.
McEvoy added that growing the China inbound market was critical to Australian tourism achieving its Tourism 2020 goal to double overnight visitor expenditure to up to AU$140 billion (US$145 billion) annually by the end of the decade.