Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director Julieanne Alroe today welcomed the announcement by China Eastern Airlines that it will commence three times weekly flights between Shanghai and Brisbane from November 2016.
Ms Alroe said the new flights will open up an immense new market for Queensland tourism operators and provide Queensland businesses with the fastest journey up to China’s largest financial and commercial centre.
“Shanghai is a mega city of some 14 million people and is headquarters to numerous Chinese private companies and State-owned enterprises which have operations in Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
“For China Eastern Airlines, Brisbane represents the best gateway to Queensland as our domestic network provides unrivalled connectivity for business, education and tourism, with the Sunshine and Gold Coasts also a short drive away.
“Having such an extensive and well serviced network means passengers from China Eastern flights can easily travel across the state, to the reef or right across Australia, New Zealand and to the South Pacific.
“For all the Queensland and Chinese companies who are set to benefit from the upcoming Free-Trade Agreement, this new flight will make doing business together easier, faster and more efficient,” Ms Alroe said.
The new flights, to be operated in codeshare with Qantas, will initially operate three times per week, but Ms Alroe expressed confidence that the clear need for this, until now, unserved route will see schedules grow quickly.
The new flights will be operated with Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft, including lie-flat business class seating.
China Eastern Airlines is Shanghai’s largest airline and, from its base at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, operates a broad network of destinations across China, Europe, North America and Asia.
The announcement, made in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Airport, follows the Queensland Premier’s meeting with China Eastern last month and a visit by BAC executives and state government Ministers this week.