China Eastern Airlines has set its sights on reconnecting with the Queensland capital of Brisbane. From the 31st of October, China’s second-largest airline will resume non-stop services between the vibrant city of Shanghai and the picturesque city of Brisbane.
This news rekindles the hopes of a revived tourism market and robust economic connections between the two cities.
Shanghai on the Radar
The airline plans to commence this resumption with three flights per week, a service that will later soar to daily seasonal flights from the 8th of December 2023, coinciding with the peak of the travel season.
Travelers will see the restored route carried out with the wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft, each capable of accommodating 232 passengers comfortably.
Gert-Jan de Graaff, Chief Executive Officer of Brisbane Airport Corporation, was upbeat about the service restoration, saying: “This is another sign Queensland’s Chinese tourism market is set to roar 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.”
Rekindling the Tourism Flame
The resurgence of these flights is not just good news for travelers but also a promising sign for the economy.
It is anticipated that these flights will generate around $314 million for Queensland’s visitor economy over the course of three years, providing much-needed support for 1,270 jobs in Queensland.
China Eastern Airlines’ Oceania General Manager, Mr. Jim Young, echoed this sentiment, stating, “China Eastern Airlines, a member of Skyteam, is thrilled to return to Brisbane from 29th October 2023, and offer Brisbane travelers nonstop service to Shanghai.”
A Shared Vision
This revival is the result of a shared vision between China Eastern Airlines, the Queensland Government, and Brisbane Airport. It reinforces Shanghai’s status as an exceptional hub for both business and leisure travelers, not only within China but also on a global scale.
The deal marks the 26th international connection secured by the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, a joint initiative between the Queensland Government and airports.
Stirling Hinchliffe, the state Tourism Minister, hailed this development as “terrific news for the international recovery of Queensland’s world-class tourism industry.”
Queensland: Good to Go
Shanghai, with a population larger than that of Australia, serves as China’s largest city and a bustling commercial hub. This makes it an essential destination for both business and leisure travelers.
From its hub at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, China Eastern Airlines seamlessly connects travelers and cargo across its extensive network, spanning 80 destinations in China and 46 destinations worldwide.
The Brisbane Economic Development Agency is playing a pivotal role in supporting this deal by actively promoting Brisbane as a prime destination in China.
Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, is optimistic about the positive impact of this partnership, stating, “This deal will see an entire new generation of Chinese travelers discover Brisbane’s retail, restaurant, tourism, and entertainment precincts, which will help create jobs and opportunities for local residents.”
Boosting Queensland’s Exports
Queensland exporters have every reason to celebrate this revival. The return of a direct air-cargo route to China is a game-changer, as it provides direct access to 1.4 billion customers across China and beyond.
This development is especially significant given the decline in freight sent to China since the loss of direct flights.
Queensland’s top exports to China, including chilled beef, seafood, provitamins and vitamins, beauty and makeup products, and fresh produce, are set to benefit greatly from this renewed connection.
A Partnership with Qantas
Notably, China Eastern’s Brisbane flights will be operated in code-share with Qantas, enhancing convenience and options for travelers.
Services are scheduled to depart Brisbane every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11:10 am and depart Shanghai every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 9:00 pm Beijing time until the service switches to daily for the peak season from the 8th of December.