The FINANCIAL — Sydney Airport will welcome a new Hainan Airlines service from Changsha in the south-central Chinese province of Hunan and the return of the popular Xi’an route in September.
Hainan Airlines’ year-round twice-weekly Sydney-Xi’an and Sydney-Changsha services will commence on 15 and 17 September respectively, subject to government approval.
The routes will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft with 250 seats, according to Sydney Airport.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming two year-round Hainan Airlines services in September following the success of the Xi’an route during the busy Lunar New Year period,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“Hainan Airlines’ new Changsha service will provide a direct connection between the capital of China’s Hunan province, home to over 65 million people, and Sydney.
“This is fantastic news for tourism, as services from Changsha and Xi’an are expected to bring 33,000 Chinese visitors who will contribute an anticipated $124 million in additional visitor expenditure per year.
“Hainan Airlines is Sydney Airport’s sixth Chinese mainland airline, making us the world leader for Chinese long haul airlines and connecting Sydney to 10 Chinese cities.”
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres welcomed the announcement of these new Hainan Airlines services from Xi’an and Changsha to Sydney.
“These additional services will provide customers from one of our most important tourist markets easier, more direct air access to explore all that Sydney and Regional NSW has to offer – from our iconic Sydney Harbour and sparkling coastline to regional areas to sample food and wine and experience Australia’s unique flora and fauna,” Mr Ayres said.
“Whether it’s for a holiday or visiting with friends and family, a trip to Sydney is now more readily accessible from these two cities thanks to the new direct services.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan also welcomed the new services from China’s secondary cities.
“Key to the success of our China strategy in the last few years has always been the gradual expansion of our marketing horizons beyond Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou into some of the country’s key secondary cities, which the introduction of these two services allows us to continue,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“The reinstatement of the Xi’an service is welcome news, as is the addition of Changsha, which will help feed traffic from the surrounding Hunan province.”
Hainan Airlines has won five consecutive global SKYTRAX five-star airline ratings and operates a young and well-appointed aircraft fleet. Its business class cabin features 15 lie-flat seats, BOSE headphones, premium amenities, and a gourmet meal service showcasing both eastern and western cuisines.
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.
Monday and Friday: Departs Changsha at 1825, arrives in Sydney at 0635
Tuesday and Saturday: Departs Sydney at 0820, arrives in Changsha at 1630
Wednesday and Saturday: Departs Xi’an at 1705, arrives in Sydney at 0635
Thursday and Sunday: Departs Sydney at 0820, arrives in Xi’an at 1755