China’s largest airline returns to Queensland

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China’s largest airline returns to Queensland

  • China Southern Airlines begins direct flights from Guangzhou to Brisbane  
  • Critical route for Queensland’s most lucrative tourism market restored 
  • New pathway for Queensland's exports to one of world's largest markets
  • 13,000 kilograms of exports on first outbound flight including Queensland mangoes
  • First direct arrivals of large groups of Chinese tourists travelling under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme 
  • 28th international destination now served from BNE  

China Southern Airlines has returned to Brisbane for the first time in almost 4 years, reconnecting Queensland with China’s key gateway of Guangzhou.  

Flight CZ381 was full when it touched down 30 minutes early at BNE this morning and departed with 13,000 kilograms of exports including Queensland mangoes. 

China’s largest carrier will initially operate 4 flights per week to Brisbane and will increase to daily services from 8 December to cater for peak season demand.   

Today's historic landing was livestreamed across the globe including the media conference which followed. 

International visitors stay longer and spend more, with China the largest international market for Queensland pre-pandemic, accounting for almost one in five international visitors and generating $1.6 billion in overnight visitor spending in 2019.  

Over the next three years China Southern has the potential to bring in 277,896 visitors, generating approximately $440 million for the visitor economy and supporting 1,790 Queensland jobs. 

The service had the first groups of Chinese tourists travelling under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme to arrive direct into Queensland.  The flight also included honeymooning couple Leo Pu and Eunice Xie (pictures in link below.)

"Today’s arrival supercharges the inbound Chinese tourism market, creating good jobs right here in Queensland," according to Gert-Jan de Graaff, Chief Executive Officer of Brisbane Airport

"Not only do we celebrate the return of China Southern Airlines, but with it, the very first direct group arrivals from China into Queensland since the pandemic. It is the group travel market and their itineraries that will deliver large numbers of tourists from China into this state’s regions including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and of course the Great Barrier Reef is a huge magnet. 

"This is also a restored route for Queensland's exports to make their way to one of the world's largest markets.

"This new service is also more modern. The A350 that landed today is designed to be quieter and use 25% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat compared to previous generation aircraft used by China Southern in 2019."   

China Southern’s return is one of 26 deals negotiated as part of the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund in partnership with Queensland’s four international airports. Combined, the 26 services are estimated to support nearly 20,000 Queensland jobs and $1.6 billion in annual visitor spending.    

From Stirling Hinchliffe, Minister for Tourism Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympic Sport and Engagement: 

"Today’s return of China Southern Airlines to Brisbane puts traction on the runway for fast-tracking the rebuild of Queensland’s international visitor economy. 

"China Southern reconnects Queensland with 169 cities in 39 countries who fly direct to Guangzhou’s international aviation hub, making this a strategic aviation service for recovery. 

"It marks the official restart of organised travel groups from China, which is terrific news for Queensland’s world-class tourism operators from the border to the Cape. 

"China Southern is an important driver for industry predictions of a resurgence Chinese visitors enjoying Queensland’s great lifestyle and supporting thousands of good local jobs in 2024." 

From Jason Sun, China Southern Airlines Regional General Manager Australia & NZ

"This is an exciting moment with the resumption of flights from Guangzhou to Brisbane. Today is a testament to the valuable support provided by the Queensland Government and Brisbane Airport. Through strong collaboration, China Southern Airlines aims to further expand the ‘Canton Route’ and contribute to the influx of tourists from China as well as business and leisure travellers from other parts of the globe to Queensland. We also look forward to welcoming Aussies to China." 

The return of China Southern Airlines has been supported by the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Economic Development Agency, Experience Gold Coast and Tourism Tropical North Queensland. 

Marketing campaigns have already begun in China to entice visitors to Queensland.  

Guangzhou is the 28th international destination now serviced directly from Brisbane Airport

The airport has just embarked on Future BNE, investing more than $5+ billion on more than 150 projects across the airport precinct.  

This press release was sourced from Brisbane Airport on 18-Nov-2023.