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China Southern plans year-round Cairns-Guangzhou flights

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 3, 2017

China Southern will operate year-round flights to Cairns from December. (Andrew Belczacki)

China Southern plans to operate year-round nonstop flights between Cairns and its Guangzhou hub from December 2017.

Cairns Airport, which announced the new service, said the Skyteam alliance member would fly the route three flights a week.

However, there was no starting date for the flight.

China Southern had previously served Cairns on a seasonal basis, most commonly during the Chinese New Year period.

Cairns Airport chief executive Norris Carter said the flights would make it easier for visitors from China to visit the Great Barrier Reef and other North Queensland attractions.


Similarly, residents of Cairns would have a more convenient option for travelling to China and beyond to destinations across Asia and Europe via the airline’s Guangzhou hub.

“The service will also open up new opportunities for our region’s high quality primary produce to be exported to China, tapping into this enormous market through the China Australia Free Trade Agreement,” Carter said in a statement.

“We look forward to rolling out the red carpet for China Southern’s first flight in December.

“We thank China Southern for creating this opportunity to grow our region’s tourism and exports.”

The Queensland government said its Connecting With Asia fund had helped secure the year-round flights between Guangzhou and Cairns.

“In the first year we expect these flights to bring more than 33,000 Chinese visitors to Tropical North Queensland, which in turn flows on to the local economy and supports jobs across the region,” Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said in a statement.

Including Cairns, China Southern serves six Australian destinations – Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth from Guanzhou, as well as Melbourne and Sydney from both Guanzhou and Shenzhen.

Currently, Cairns offers international flights to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Port Moresby, Singapore and South Korea (seasonal). There have also been seasonal services to China from China Southern and China Eastern in previous years.

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Comments (10)

  • David


    Qantas really need to increase the number of planes, so they can tap in to the lucrative Chinese market.

  • JR


    Qantas would never be adventurous enough to do a route like that. They’re too focused on filling A380s by routing everyone through Sydney. Qantas don’t even fly Brisbane – Shanghai or Brisbane – Taipei, instead relying on China Eastern and China Airlines code shares. Qantas are a Sydney-centric airline for the most part.

  • Jarden


    Hi AA,
    You can also add Japan to the list of international connections to Cairns. But not mainland China yet.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Thanks Jarden,
      The story has been updated.
      Apologies for the omission.

  • Oskar clare


    100% agreed @JR



    Very trueJR, but when you are allowed to have a virtual monopoly on domestic routes like Qantas does why wouldn’t you try and send everyone through Sydney, they make more money getting people to Sydney than flying them overseas.

  • DavidByrne


    Also CNS has service to Manila on PAL.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Thanks DavidByrne,
      The story has been updated to reflect this.
      Apologies for the omission.

  • john doutch


    How many of these flights from anywhere in China to anywhere in Australia are in fact subsidised

  • mike9


    My partner is Chinese, it is almost impossible to fly to Australia without being directed to Sydney, I know from conversations with agents there that if they asked about flying to Cairns which is always in the advertising, they are told to go to Sydney then fly back to Cairns.. you can understand the frustrations as people look out the window and watch Cairns fly beneath them , then are expected to return after transfers in Sydney and the trip back. it may take a whole day to do it. Qantas is happy to go on about flying to London, but seemly ignores the biggest emerging market in the world.

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