Inaugural Beijing-Brisbane flight a win for Qld

China Southern’s inaugural flight from Beijing, due to touch down at 11.50am in Brisbane this morning, will be a double celebration with the airline also marking the first anniversary of its launch flight to Queensland from Guangzhou on 2 November. With the addition of Beijing, Brisbane Airport now connects to 32 international destinations around the globe.

Arriving on today’s flight will be passengers, along with representatives from China Southern and a large contingent travel writers and media, who will be welcomed in an official ceremony by the Hon Jan Jarratt MP – Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business, Anthony Hayes, CEO Tourism Qld, and Julieanne Alroe, CEO and Managing Director Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC).

From today, China Southern will also increase its Beijing-Guangzhou-Brisbane services from three to four flights a week, representing a 33 per cent increase in capacity. Flights will depart Brisbane Airport on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11.15am, arriving in Beijing at 11.15pm the same day.

BAC CEO and Managing Director, Julieanne Alroe, said since launching services late last year the China Southern flights had been very popular with the Chinese market.

“China was Brisbane Airport’s fastest growing international top-10 market for FY2010/11 with 23 per cent year-on-year growth, a figure that can be directly attributed to China Southern commencing direct scheduled services.

“Given the huge popularity of Queensland for Chinese visitors and the growing investment partnerships between Australia and China, this additional service will further strengthen the ties between Queensland and the heart of China’s political, cultural and educational community,” Ms Alroe said.While tourism is a big winner with more than 144,000 Chinese arrivals/departures through Brisbane Airport in FY11, an increasing number of Australian travellers are experiencing the China Southern service.

“The beauty of the China Southern direct service is that it’s a good balance between inbound and outbound demand, with China featuring highly on the list of destinations for Brisbane residents with more than 33,000 making the trip last year.

“As the capital of China, there is also strong demand for government and corporate traffic to Beijing with the new schedule being very convenient for Australians travelling to Beijing or wanting to connect in Guangzhou to other destinations in Asia and Europe,” Ms Alroe said.

The airline will operate its Airbus A330-300 series aircraft on the route, providing four first class and 24 business class flatbed seats, 48 premium economy and 208 economy seats.

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China Southern Airlines – a member of the worldwide SkyTeam airline alliance, with SkyTeam members serving 884 destinations in 169 countries – is the largest airline in mainland China.

China Southern currently operates 422 modern Boeing and Airbus jet aircraft, 50 more than this time last year.

By this time next year China Southern expects to have 476 aircraft which will include the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Currently China Southern is ranked No. 6 in the world by fleet size.

In 2010, China Southern carried 76.5 million passengers up 10.2 million from 2009 and is currently the 3rd largest airline in the world and the largest in Asia by passengers carried.

Leonie Vandeven

Brisbane Airport Corporation

Ph: 0401 696 638