Brisbane Airport welcomes China Southern Airlines

Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Limited (BAC) today announced that China Southern Airlines will start flying to Brisbane from 1 November 2010.

China Southern, China’s largest airline and now Brisbane Airport’s 31st airline, will fly three times per week departing every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Guangzhou to Brisbane.

BAC’s CEO and Managing Director Julieanne Alroe congratulated China Southern on its decision and said the service provided long overdue non-stop access to one of Queensland’s fastest growing markets.

“The business case for this service was exceptionally strong with China now being Queensland’s second largest trading partner. Our team at BAC has worked very closely with the Australia – China business community in Queensland who have been asking for non-stop services for some time. We formed the China Aviation Action Group to coordinate and focus our efforts; this is a great result for our team,” Ms Alroe said.

Tourism will also be the big winner with more than 153,000 Chinese visitors to Queensland last year, making China one of Queensland’s largest inbound tourist markets and forecast to grow at over 10% per annum in the coming years.

“Tourism Queensland has made a huge commitment to the China market and I commend them on their efforts,” Ms Alroe said. Importantly, she said, the education market is a significant and growing sector for Chinese students based in Brisbane. China is also high on the list of destinations for Brisbane residents with more than 23,000 making the trip last year.

“Other key factors behind China Southern’s decision were Brisbane Airport’s huge catchment area and extensive domestic airline network. Over three million people live within two hours drive of Brisbane Airport and that is an important factor when airlines are looking for outbound passengers as well as inbound. Brisbane Airport is unique because it serves 43 domestic destinations, all non-stop, more than any other Australian capital city. That network provides great connection opportunities for international airline passengers at Brisbane.”

The new flights, using Airbus A330 aircraft, will provide 1,700 additional seats each week into Brisbane, Australia’s third busiest capital city airport.“This is just the start “Ms Alroe said. “Our next goal is to convince China Southern to fly daily to Brisbane within the next two years.”