Brisbane Airport on Saturday added a second Chinese carrier to its post-pandemic network.
China Southern returned after a gap of almost four years, launching four-weekly flights from Guangzhou in the Guangdong province.
The return saw China Southern’s A350-900, B-30F0, depart Guangzhou on 17 November at 9:38 pm as flight CZ382 and touch down in the Queensland capital the next day at 7:43am.
“Not only do we celebrate the return of China Southern Airlines, but with it, the very first direct group arrivals from China into Queensland since the pandemic,” said Brisbane Airport CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff.
“It is the group travel market and their itineraries that will deliver large numbers of tourists from China into this state’s regions, including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and of course, the Great Barrier Reef is a huge magnet.
“This is also a restored route for Queensland’s exports to make their way to one of the world’s largest markets.”
The airline will initially operate the service four times per week before increasing it to daily from 8 December to cater to peak season demand.
Guangzhou is now the 28th international destination serviced directly from Brisbane Airport.
Queensland’s Tourism Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, said, “China Southern reconnects Queensland with 169 cities in 39 countries who fly direct to Guangzhou’s international aviation hub, making this a strategic aviation service for recovery.
“It marks the official restart of organised travel groups from China, which is terrific news for Queensland’s world-class tourism operators from the border to the Cape.
“China Southern is an important driver for industry predictions of a resurgence of Chinese visitors enjoying Queensland’s great lifestyle and supporting thousands of good local jobs in 2024.”
It comes after Australian Aviation reported the return of the first major Chinese carrier, China Eastern, earlier this month.
It was the first service from mainland China to touch down at Brisbane in 1,359 days, marking the beginning of a three-times-per-week non-stop service that will increase to daily from 8 December.