Perth Airport has secured a new Chinese carrier with China Eastern to fly between Perth and Shanghai Pudong over a five-week period in early 2020.
The nonstop service would operate three times a week from January 15 2020 until February 17 2020 – covering the Chinese New Year period – with Airbus A330-200 equipment, Perth Airport said on Thursday.
The flights have been scheduled as an overnight service from Shanghai, arriving in Perth the following morning. The return flight takes off from Perth at lunchtime.
Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said the new route offered great potential for both the tourism and business sector in Western Australia.
Further, he was hopeful a successful five-week trial would lead to China Eastern operating the flight throughout the year.
“The trial non-stop service between Shanghai and Perth will add much needed seats to the market during this seasonal busy period,” Brown said in a statement.
“Fresh produce, business and leisure tourism are all key export focus areas and a direct link between Shanghai and Perth will undoubtedly further connect Western Australia and benefit the entire economy.”
The two-class A330-200 China Eastern planned to use on the route had 232 seats split between 30 in business and 202 in economy.
Perth would be the fourth destination in China Eastern’s Australian network alongside Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The Qantas alliance partner had also previously served Cairns.
The new route was secured with the support of state and federal tourism bodies, as well as the West Australian government.
State Premier Mark McGowan said efforts to woo China Eastern to Perth began in 2017.
“Securing this trial has been no easy feat,” McGowan said in a statement.
“We led a comprehensive delegation in 2017 and followed up with numerous meetings because we wanted to show China Eastern we were taking this seriously and we were on a mission to secure these direct flights.”
Shanghai would be Perth Airport’s second nonstop destination in China. Currently, China Southern offers nonstop flights between Perth and Guangzhou.
Cathay Pacific also serves Perth from the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.