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Chinese airlines ramp up their return to Brisbane

written by Jake Nelson | September 14, 2023

Lance Broad shot this China Eastern A330-200 at Brisbane Airport in 2016.

Mainland Chinese airlines are upping their commitment to Brisbane, with China Eastern resuming non-stop services in October and China Southern flying daily during the peak tourism season.

China Eastern will fly return three times per week between Brisbane and Shanghai using 232-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft from 29 October, increasing to daily seasonal flights from 8 December. China Southern will also operate daily Guangzhou flights between 8 December and 25 February.

Gert-Jan de Graaff, chief executive officer of Brisbane Airport Corporation, has hailed the twin announcements as evidence that the Queensland tourism industry is “roaring back to life”.

“We are delighted to welcome Shanghai back to the BNE destination map. Shanghai is China’s largest city and a commercial hub, making it a key city for business and leisure travel.

“With two carriers now set to resume services from mainland China, we’re forecasting China will likely regain its spot as Queensland’s number one source for inbound tourists in 2024.”


The China Southern announcement follows its initial plan to operate four flights per week between Guangzhou and Brisbane using A350-900s from 17 November.

“This increase by China Southern has occurred at breathtaking pace. It’s still nine weeks from landing its first flight in Brisbane since the pandemic, but to see demand so strong this early is good news for Queensland’s economy,” said de Graaff.

“Chinese visitors love Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef so the jobs from these tourists will be spread across the state.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe has celebrated the two Chinese carriers’ return as a victory for the state government and airports’ Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF).

“The message potential visitors are hearing in China from Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) tourism marketing is Queensland is good to go,” he said.

“We’re seeing that reflected in strong Queensland holiday bookings from Guangzhou and now new tourism opportunities for visitors to fly direct from China’s biggest city, Shanghai.

“Rekindling Chinese travellers’ love of Queensland’s iconic tourism experiences is critical to TEQ’s industry Blueprint for building an $11 billion international visitor economy by the 2032 Games.”

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