Air China will launch a third route from Sydney in November when it begins a three-times-a-week service to Chengdu.
The Sydney-Chengdu flights were scheduled to begin on November 12 and be operated by Airbus A330-200s configured with 30 business class and 207 economy class seats, Sydney Airport said in a statement.
Currently, Air China served Sydney from Beijing and Shanghai.
The Star Alliance member also flew to Melbourne Tullamarine from Beijing and Shanghai and was due to start Melbourne-Shenzhen service on November 12.
Air China general manager for Australia Rui Jie said Sydney Sydney-Chengdu would support trade and tourism links between Australia and China.
“This new route to Sydney marks Air China’s third intercontinental flight from Chengdu and our first non-stop service between western China and Oceania,” Rui said in a statement.
“The Chengdu-Sydney service will facilitate further trade between Australia and western China, as Chengdu is the most economically dynamic city in western China with the most Fortune Global 500 companies.
“The new direct service will also make it more convenient for Australians visiting western China and the popular tourist destination of Chengdu.”
Flight schedules showed CA429 departing Chengdu, Air China’s second largest hub, just before 2300 on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays, arriving in Sydney at about 1235 the next day. The aircraft was due to be on the ground for about two hours before operating the reciprocal CA430 back to Chengdu.
Sydney Airport has service from six airlines from China – Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Xiamen Air – flying to 11 destinations in the Middle Kingdom. Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific and Taiwan’s China Airlines also serve Sydney.
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan welcomed the launch of the new Air China service, particularly given it expanded access to Australia from so-called secondary cities in China.
“Many of Australia’s future tourism opportunities within the China market lie in the country’s second tier cities,” O’Sullivan said.
“Securing direct aviation access to cities like Chengdu through new services such as this provides a vital platform upon which to focus our marketing and distribution activities. This is great for Sydney and Australian tourism.”