As sustained high growth in traffic between China and Australia continues, China Southern will become the fourth A380 operator to Sydney when it upgrades one of its twice-daily services from Guangzhou on October 27.
Welcoming the announcement, Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather said China Southern’s decision to upgrade one of its twice daily A330 services to an A380 to Sydney later this year confirms that Sydney Airport is Australia’s number one gateway to China, as well as the being the sixth busiest A380 hub in the world.
“Visitors from China are now Sydney’s second largest passenger group behind New Zealanders and are expected to become the number one passenger group over the next decade,” Mather added.
China Southern’s additional A380 service to add 162,060 seats to the route annually and contribute $118 million in visitor expenditure to the NSW economy.
“With growing affluence and a rising middle class, China is one of our most important markets for boosting inbound tourism and we are working in close partnership with Destination NSW and Tourism Australia to attract more carriers and more services to Sydney, with 12 per cent compound growth in Chinese passengers every year for the past four years.
“We were honoured to welcome the world’s first A380 service in 2007 and we have grown from just a few services a week to more than 100 as more of our major airlines take delivery of new aircraft,” Mather added.
The announcement by China Southern comes weeks after Emirates confirmed it will operate an additional daily A380 flight to Sydney from June.
Meanwhile China Southern has also announced its second daily Sydney-Guangzhou service would feature its new A330 product with lie-flat business class beds and seat-back entertainment on every seat. Stopovers in Guangzhou will also become easier, with Australians to be able to stay up to 72 hours without a visa from mid-2013.
“This will enhance China Southern’s appeal to the Australian market, having already shown phenomenal growth over the last three years with its Guangzhou service increasing to daily in early 2010 and then twice daily later that year,” Mather said.