The FINANCIAL — Hainan Airlines has on December 23 touched down at Sydney Airport, launching its twice weekly Xi’an- Sydney service in time for the popular Lunar New Year period.
“Sydney Airport’s pleased to welcome Hainan Airlines’ twice weekly service from Xi’an to Sydney, marking our sixth new airline in 2015 and making us the world’s leading airport for Chinese long haul carriers,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“Hainan Airlines’ arrival is great news for tourism in Sydney and NSW, with an expected $26.5 million in additional annual visitor expenditure.
“Securing another new Chinese airline for Sydney Airport is testament to our continued work with government and industry partners to provide a positive visitor experience and attract more Chinese visitors to Sydney, our fastest growing inbound visitor market.
“Hainan Airlines will also provide Sydneysiders with a direct route to the home of the Terracotta Warriors in China.”
Hainan Airlines said the new route connects North Western China with Oceania for the first time.
“We’re glad Hainan Airlines connects world famous and historical Xi’an – the home of the Terracotta Warriors – and Sydney,” Hainan Airlines Director of Sales and Marketing Hu Yi said.
“Hainan Airlines is guided by the objective of being a world-class airline with oriental beauty. Together with our distinct hospitality, we’ll provide passengers with five-star levels of service and a comfortable and safe flight experience.”
Hainan Airlines will operate the route on an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 222 seats. With a young and well-appointed aircraft fleet, Hainan Airlines has won five consecutive global SKYTRAX five-star airline ratings, according to Sydney Airport.
Xi’an offers travellers a 72-hour visa free period which, coupled with direct Xi’an to Rome and Paris services, makes it an attractive stopover for Australians travelling to Europe.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the arrival of Hainan Airlines in Sydney is a huge coup for NSW.
“China is NSW’s largest inbound tourism market. In the year ended September 2015, NSW welcomed more than 536,000 visitors from China who spent nearly $2.2 billion in NSW,” Mr Ayres said.
“We are delighted to welcome another international airline to Sydney, bringing even more visitors to our fantastic city and surrounding NSW regions this summer.”
Sydney Airport has implemented a range of China ready initiatives to welcome Chinese passengers, including Mandarin speaking Airport Ambassadors, information available in simplified Chinese, acceptance of Union Pay, support of events such as Lunar New Year, and tailored retail, food and beverage offerings.