Brisbane Airport welcomes China Eastern’s Shanghai service


CHINA Eastern Airlines’ commencement of daily flights between Brisbane and Shanghai this December has been hailed as a “huge victory for the whole of Queensland”.

The daily schedule is a marked increase to the thrice-weekly service originally planned.

Welcoming the move, Julieanne Alroe, CEO and managing director, Brisbane Airport Corporation, said: “Connecting China’s busiest international hub with Queensland’s biggest international airport is a significant step for the city and state in positioning Brisbane as a major Asia-Pacific centre.”

According to Alroe, the Chinese visitor market, the second largest for Brisbane Airport, has experienced 23 per cent growth in the last 12 months.

Latest statistics show that a record 400,000 Chinese travellers visited Queensland in 2015, contributing almost A$1 billion (US$729 million) in visitor expenditure, which is a 51 per cent increase on the previous year.

Alroe said: “Regular direct flights into Brisbane will help capture a portion of this substantial and important market as well as direct visitors to some of Queensland’s most desirable tourist destinations.”

Likewise, Brisbane Airport’s head of corporate relations, Rachel Crowley, said: “There is so much potential for Brisbane to be developed as a gateway city instead of Sydney or Melbourne because of its position on the map.

“We are foreseeing a huge volume of Chinese traffic to start using Brisbane with this new development,” she said, adding that Beijing is being targeted as the next Chinese city to develop daily direct connections.

China Eastern Airlines currently operates a seasonal service between Shanghai and Cairns, providing access for up to 13,000 visitors each year to tropical North Queensland, the state’s northern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

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