Xiamen Airlines grows presence at Melbourne with second nonstop route

The Xiamen Airlines 787 B-2763 touches down at Melbourne Airport on Sunday. (Dave Soderstrom)

Xiamen Airlines has commenced a second nonstop service between Melbourne and mainland China with the start of flights from Hangzhou.

Flight MF813, operated by Boeing 787-8 B-2763, landed at Melbourne Airport a little after 0940 on Sunday, following its 10 and a half hour journey from Hangzhou.

The aircraft was on the ground for about two and a half hours before operating the reciprocal MF814 back to Hangzhou, which is located in the Zhejiang province in the eastern part of China and about 100nm south of Shanghai.

The city has a population of about nine million and is the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

“We are delighted with Xiamen Airlines’ decision to expand into Hangzhou – the city that’s home to internet giant Alibaba and where third-party mobile and online payment system Alipay was established. The region is viewed as one of China’s most prominent tech hubs, and last year was host city to the G-20 summit,” Melbourne Airport chief of aviation Simon Gandy said.

Xiamen, which is 51 per cent owned by China Southern Airlines, one of eight Chinese carriers serving Melbourne alongside Air China, Capital Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Tianjin Airlines, which started serving Australia at the start of November.

Separately, Taiwan’s China Airlines and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific also fly to Melbourne.

Xiamen’s 787-8s have 237 seats in a three-class layout comprising four in first (in a 1-2-1 layout), 18 in business (in a 2-2-2 configuration) and 215 in economy (at nine abreast).

The new service will operate twice a week, with departures from Hangzhou on Wednesday and Saturday nights, and departures from Tullamarine on Thursday and Sunday lunchtime.

The Skyteam alliance member first served Melbourne in June 2016, when it commenced flying nonstop from Xiamen.

Xiamen Airlines and Melbourne Airport celebrate the arrival of the inaugural Xiamen-Hangzhou-Melbourne flight. (Dave Soderstrom)

 

Comments

  1. David says

    Does anyone know if Qantas serves China from Melbourne? Eight Chinese carriers serve Melbourne from China. It is high time Qantas also tried to capture more of the Chinese market.. Further 787 orders from 2019 will be a good way to start. Then, Qantas can make further inroads into the Chinese market.

  2. David McGrath says

    The problem with serving China is that there is a lot of obstructive red tape and it is difficult to sell tickets without an established local seller.
    One of Scoot’s services was given a slot that involved waiting nearly 4 hours until immigration opened.
    I imagine VA eventually got its HK slots aligned due to trading IN A airlines slots.
    Not the fault of QANTAS.
    I

  3. Craigy says

    Qantas only flies to mainland China from Sydney. The destinations are Shanghai and Beijing. They do however have extensive codeshare services with China Eastern and China Southern. Getting slots to the major airports is also problematic on top of the obstructive red tape.

  4. AlanH says

    Obstructive red tape into PRC from Australia but not from the PRC into Australia it seems. Level playing field?

  5. deano says

    Likely 80%-90% of the travelers are Chinese, so it may be hard to get them on board Qantas metal
    Also a lot o delays at Chinese airports that play havoc with scheduling and onward connecting flights
    Qantas can see exactly how many passengers are booking with them on codeshared flights and my reckoning is that there are not the numbers to justify Qantas metal being committed on more flights to China

  6. Jarden says

    It’s really nine Chinese airlines that serve Melbourne missed Shanghai airlines off the list. Who will be the 10th airline?
    I reckon it could be Lucky Air.

  7. Riplander says

    Another thing to point out is that most of these services are only a couple of times per week. The only daily flights seem to be from Beijing and Shanghai, which QF is currently doing. It will be hard to justify to launch to several new cities with only a couple of flights a week, especially if there is no local partner and the ‘red tape’ issues surrounding PRC.

  8. MAnnix says

    Qantas not really interested in Melbourne – it’s all centralised around Sydney town. Shame really, and 8 other Chinese carriers have capitalised on this, amongst other international airlines. I reckon VA should make MEL it’s main hub.