The FINANCIAL — The inaugural flight JQ68 is one of two weekly return Boeing 787 services which will bring an additional 35,000 Chinese tourists to Australia each year.
Hundreds of Chinese visitors arrived on December 7 in Melbourne on Jetstar’s first direct flight from Zhengzhou, further boosting tourism to Victoria’s capital.
The inaugural flight JQ68, which was at capacity with more than 330 people on board, is one of two weekly return Boeing 787 services which will bring an additional 35,000 Chinese tourists to Australia each year.
The Melbourne-Zhengzhou service is delivered in partnership with local travel specialist, China Comfort Travel, which will sell flights and holiday packages directly to Chinese travellers, according to Jetstar.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO Dean Salter said Zhengzhou is a major transportation hub in Central China, with a population of nearly 10 million people.
“China is such an important tourism market for Australia,” Mr Salter said. “Tourism Australia’s research indicates that Chinese tourists spend on average $8000 per visit, which means these new flights are worth around $280 million to the Australian economy each year.
“China already accounts for the largest source of tourism in Victoria, and it’s predicted that in coming years China will overtake New Zealand to be Australia’s largest tourism market.
“On average, Chinese travellers visit two or three cities when they visit Australia, so we expect tourism across Australia to benefit from these new flights into Melbourne.
“Flight bookings over the coming months are very strong and have exceeded expectations.”
A delegation of more than 20 representatives from Government and tourism authorities from the Henan province travelled on the first flight.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said: “This new service will attract more visitors from China, which is great news for our world-renowned visitor economy. We’re thrilled to land Jetstar’s new direct flight to Zhengzhou, giving travellers greater choice and flexibility and strengthening our valuable relationship with China.”
General Manager of Australia Comfort Travel, Jun Yan said: “This route will significantly promote the tourism, business and cultural exchanges between China and Australia. We hope this new route will not only attract more visitors from China, but also bring more international guests to Zhengzhou and the Henan province.”
Customers from Zhengzhou will be able to directly access 26 destinations through Jetstar’s international and domestic network.