The FINANCIAL — Sydney Airport will welcome a new direct China Eastern Airlines service from Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, on 16 November.
The three-weekly service will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft with 234 seats, according to Sydney Airport.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming China Eastern Airlines’ new Hangzhou service in November, marking the twelfth mainland Chinese city served by Sydney Airport,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“This direct Hangzhou service is expected to bring 22,000 Chinese visitors who will contribute an anticipated $88 million in additional visitor expenditure per year, which is fantastic news for the local economy.
“As well as being a new route, the Hangzhou service links to Beijing, providing passengers with more choice and convenience when travelling to China’s capital.
“Hangzhou is also one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. Located on the spectacular West Lake, it’s home to many famous historical and cultural sites, making it a unique place to explore.”
China Eastern Airlines General Manager – Oceania Kathy Zhang said the new Hangzhou service will boost tourism and provide greater connectivity for passengers.
“China Eastern Airlines’ new route to Hangzhou is a great example of the growth of services between Sydney and China’s second-tier cities, boosting the local tourism industry and economy,” Ms Zhang said.
“This new Hangzhou route will complement the service launched in 2012 between Sydney and Beijing via Nanjing. As a new direct link, it will provide improved connections to Beijing, with services on alternative days of the week.”
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said in the year ended June 2016, we saw 639,000 visitors from China travelling to NSW, up 21 per cent on the previous year.
“We are delighted to welcome China Eastern’s new Hangzhou to Sydney service which will encourage Chinese travellers to book a trip to Sydney and Regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said.
“With our iconic attractions, world class arts, cultural and sporting events, award-winning hotels and cultural visitor experiences, we look forward to welcoming more visitors from China as a result of this fantastic new service.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan welcomed the new service.
“The introduction by China Eastern of direct flights between Hangzhou and Sydney helps extend Australia’s tourism footprint into one of the country’s most important secondary cities,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Mr O’Sullivan said that Tourism Australia’s China team had already started actively marketing and building a strong network of travel distribution partners in Hangzhou.
China Eastern Airlines will serve three mainland China cities from Sydney from November, three-weekly services to Nanjing and 14-weekly services to Shanghai, from mid-December. It is one of China’s largest airlines and part of the SkyTeam alliance.
Sydney Airport has implemented a range of China ready initiatives to welcome Chinese passengers, including Mandarin speaking Airport Ambassadors, digital channels in simplified Chinese, acceptance of Union Pay, support of events such as Lunar New Year, and tailored retail, food and beverage offerings.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: MU711 departs Beijing at 2000, arrives Hangzhou at 2215, arrives in Sydney at 1330 the next day
Wednesday, Friday and Sunday: MU712 departs Sydney at 2215, departs Hangzhou at 0750 the next day, arrives in Beijing 1010 the next day