Sydney Airport has confirmed Xiamen Airlines will begin service to the NSW capital from both Xiamen and Fuzhou from late November.
Xiamen Airlines, which is 51 per cent owned by China Southern Airlines, will start three times a week Fuzhou-Sydney service from November 30, with two flights a week between Xiamen and Sydney to start on December 6. Both services will be flown by Boeing 787-8s.
Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said confirmation of the Xiamen Airlines service, which has been mooted for some months, reflected the benefits of the recently expanded bilateral air services agreement between Australia and China.
“It’s great that Sydney has secured the first routes from secondary Chinese cities since the expansion of the Chinese and Australian governments’ air services agreement in early 2015,” Mather said in a statement.
“This is expected to further grow the important Chinese passenger market, which is expected to be Australia’s largest inbound visitor market next year.”
With a population of about seven million, Fuzhou the capital of the Fujian province located in the south east of China.
Meanwhile, Xiamen, also in the Fujian province, has a population of about 3.5 million.
Sydney Airport said Xiamen Airlines, which is a member of the Skyteam alliance, would be the fifth carrier from mainland China at the airport alongside China Southern, China Eastern, Air China and Sichuan Airlines. Cathay Pacific also serves Sydney from its Hong Kong hub.
According to flight schedules published on the Airline Route website, Xiamen will depart Fuzhou as an overnight service on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with the return flight a lunchtime departure from the NSW capital on Wednesdays, Fridays and Mondays.
The Xiamen-Sydney flights will depart on Wednesdays and Saturdays evenings from Xiamen and return from Sydney at noon on Thursdays and Sundays.