New flights from Beijing-Brisbane will see visitor numbers soar

Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia. Source: Ikpro/Shutterstock

A NEW direct route from Beijing-Brisbane will bring a surge of Chinese tourists to the country, with 170,000 expected to visit over the next four years.

The flights, which operate four times a week under Air China, will make it significantly easier for tourists, business professionals and others to travel between the two countries. On Monday, Air China’s airline executives touched down at Brisbane Airport, and officially opened the link between the two cities.

The new flight path is a result of the collective efforts of various tourism and marketing boards across Australia.

Tourism Whitsundays – a key player in making this a reality – has expressed delight in the new flight path, which is expected to draw thousands over the coming year.

Around 85,000 Chinese nationals alone are expected to visit the islands over the next four years, which CEO Craig Turner argues is due to the “reef experience” that the islands offer:

“The Whitsundays will offer these visitors the iconic natural attractions of Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach, as part of packages that will complement these new flights, and will ensure they have a premium Great Barrier Reef holiday when travelling to Queensland,” he said.

Brisbane Airport, the Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Gold Coast Tourism and Brisbane Marketing are other members of the “Connecting with Asia” consortium that secured the Beijing to Brisbane flights. Once the industry experts realized the true potential of the route in boosting the country’s tourism, they funded the plan alongside the Queensland State Government.

Julieanne Alroe, BAC CEO and Managing Director at Brisbane airport spoke of the, ‘exceptional result for the Connecting with Asia Consortium,’ and the benefits of the new route for both parties:

“The Chinese visitor market is currently the second largest for Brisbane Airport, with around 350,000 Chinese passengers travelling through the airport last financial year.”

“These direct Air China flights will help grow this important market which will have flow on benefits for every sector of our economy, from business and investment to tourism, trade and education.”

The move will also benefit travelers departing from Brisbane to Beijing. General Manager of Air China in Australia Rui Jei told reporters.

“This is an exciting era for Air China and Queensland, Brisbane City and Brisbane Airport,” he said.

“The four-time direct weekly service to Beijing will offer Queensland travelers more connections from Air China’s strong extensive network in China and internationally to Europe, North America and major cities in Asia.”

The new flightpath is travelled by the Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which offers 30 business class and 207 economy seats.