China Eastern to fly to Brisbane

A330-200 China Eastern 高清1
  • It is the 2nd Chinese carrier to commit to Queensland but 1st to launch 
  • Non-stop service to the commercial hub of Shanghai 
  • Forecast to restore China as Queensland’s #1 source of tourists in 2024 
  • Predicted to generate $314 million for visitor economy over three years and support 1,270 Queensland jobs 

China Eastern Airlines has today announced it will resume non-stop services between Shanghai and Brisbane from 31 October.  

China’s second largest airline will commence with three flights per week, rising to daily seasonal flights from 8 December 2023 for the peak of the travel season.  

China Eastern Airlines will deploy wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route, carrying 232 passengers.  

“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,” according to Gert-Jan de Graaff, Chief Executive Officer of Brisbane Airport Corporation.  

“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.  This is big news for the Gold Coast, Brisbane and North Queensland.”  

The flights are tipped to generate around $314 million for Queensland’s visitor economy over three years and support 1,270 Queensland jobs.  

“China Eastern Airlines, a member of Skyteam, is thrilled to return to Brisbane from 29th October 2023, and offer Brisbane travellers nonstop service to Shanghai,” according to China Eastern Airlines Oceania General Manager, Mr Jim Young 

“We, the Queensland Government, and Brisbane Airport align with a shared value and vision in our commitment to reintroducing this route in 2023. 

Our non-stop flight to and from Brisbane will further substantiate Shanghai as an exceptional hub for both business and leisure travellers to destinations cross China and beyond on a global scale." 

The deal is the 26th international connection secured by the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, a joint Queensland Government and airports initiative.  

Tourism Mininster Stirling Hinchliffe said: 

“This is more terrific news for the international recovery of Queensland’s world-class tourism industry.    

“We know Chinese travellers are eager to return and rediscover Queensland’s great lifestyle and iconic visitor experiences from the Torres Strait and the Reef to our amazing beaches and the Outback. 

“The message potential visitors are hearing in China from Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) tourism marketing is Queensland is Good to Go.  

“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.” 

Shanghai is China’s largest city with a population greater than Australia. As China’s biggest commercial hub, it is an important destination for both business and leisure travel. 

From their world-hub at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, China Eastern can connect travellers and cargo across their network from Ankang to Zhuhai or any of their 80 destinations in China, or to 46 destinations around the world.  

The Brisbane Economic Development Agency has also supported the deal with destination marketing to promote Brisbane in China and the new flights.   

"Brisbane just keeps getting better and our growing reputation as a safe and exciting destination means visitors from around the world are eager to explore our incredible city,” according to Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.  

“This deal will see an entire new generation of Chinese travellers discover Brisbane’s retail, restaurant, tourism and entertainment precincts which will help create jobs and opportunities for local residents.” 

Destination Gold Coast interim COO Rachel Hancock welcomes the announcement, with the regional tourism board supporting the announcment via the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

Queensland Export Boost  

Queensland exporters will welcome the return of a direct air-cargo route to China, which saw 11 thousand tonnes per year sent from BNE to China pre-Covid but has seen the vast majority of Queensland produce flown via SYD or MEL airports.   

“This is massive news for Queensland exporters with the volume of freight sent to China slumping since the loss of direct flights. Queensland’s rural producers and exporters will soon have direct access to 1.4 billion customers across China and beyond,” according to Gert-Jan de Graaff. 

Queensland’s top exports to China currently include chilled beef, seafood, provitamins and vitamins, beauty and make-up products and fresh produce. 

China Eastern’s Brisbane flights will be operated in code-share with Qantas. 

Services will depart Brisbane every Wednesday / Friday / Sunday at 1110am and depart Shanghai every Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday at 9pm Beijing time until the service switches to daily for peak season from 8 December.  

For more information contact Brisbane Airport 24 hour media hotline: 0466 322 485