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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