Xiamen Airlines launches first flights to Sydney

Xiamen Airlines' inaugural flight gets a water cannon salute on arrival in Sydney
Xiamen Airlines’ inaugural flight gets a water cannon salute on arrival in Sydney

Xiamen Airlines touched down Australia for the first time on Monday morning, with the launch of its first new service to Sydney.

The Chinese airline commenced the first of two new routes to Sydney on Sunday 29 December 2015, with its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft departing Fuzhou’s Changle International Airport at 2210. The flight arrived at Sydney Airport at 1030 this morning. The return service is due to depart Sydney at 1200, arriving back in Fuzhou at 1820.

Xiamen Airlines will now operate this route three times a week, with flights departing Fuzhou every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

And on Saturday 5 December, the carrier will launch its second Australian route, direct between Xiamen and Sydney. This service will depart Xiamen’s Gaoqi International Airport every Wednesday and Saturday on the same schedule, also using a B787 Dreamliner. Both flights will take approximately nine hours.

Fuzhou and Xiamen are the two largest cities in Southeast China’s Fujian province.

Che Shanglun, chairman & general manager of Xiamen Airlines, revealed that the new routes had been enabled by an agreement signed in 2014 between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The Australian routes form part of a major long-haul expansion plan currently being undertaken by Xiamen Airlines, a member of the SkyTeam alliance. In July this year the airline launched its first European services to Amsterdam, and it is planning to commence direct flights to Melbourne, Vancouver and New York in 2016.

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