The three-weekly Fuzhou-Sydney service will commence on 30 November, followed by the twice-weekly Xiamen-Sydney service on 6 December, subject to government approval. Both Xiamen Airlines routes will be operated by its state-of-the-art Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, offering a comfortable in-flight experience for passengers travelling for business and leisure alike.
“We’re proud to welcome Xiamen Airlines, whose new routes will provide the 38 million residents of China’s Fujian Province with the opportunity to experience Sydney and NSW,” Sydney Airport managing director and chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said.
“The new Fuzhou and Xiamen services are fantastic news for tourism in Sydney and NSW. It’s expected Xiamen Airlines will bring an additional 36,000 Chinese visitors to Sydney each year, contributing an anticipated $134 million in additional annual visitor expenditure to NSW.”
Xiamen Airlines carried over 20 million passengers in 2014, on the largest all-Boeing fleets in China. With a fleet of the world’s most advanced and efficient aircraft, they operate five Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, with an additional four Boeing 787-9s on order.
Ms Mather said the new Xiamen Airlines relationship demonstrates that the expanded China-Australia bilateral agreement is delivering significant benefits already.
“It’s great that Sydney has secured the first routes from secondary Chinese cities since the expansion of the Chinese and Australian governments’ air services agreement in early 2015.
“This is expected to further grow the important Chinese passenger market, which is expected to be Australia’s largest inbound visitor market next year.
“Not only are we working with the airlines, our tourism partners and governments to grow tourism from China and other key markets, but we’re also focused on ensuring our Chinese customers have the best possible experience when they arrive in Sydney. We’ve had excellent feedback about our Mandarin-speaking airport ambassadors and simplified Chinese signage, website and free mobile apps.
“We look forward to Xiamen Airlines’ first flight in November, and welcoming more Chinese passengers to Australia’s gateway, Sydney Airport.”
Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, will promote the new routes for travel to Sydney and into regional NSW.
“We are very pleased with this announcement. Destination NSW has worked tirelessly to ensure Sydney and NSW are China’s favourite travel destinations in Australia,” Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said.
“These extra services from Xiamen Airlines will bring even more Chinese visitors to NSW and we will be working closely with Xiamen Airlines to promote these new routes.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said the new Xiamen Airlines services would assist in further growing tourism from China, now Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable tourism market worth $6.4 billion.
“The new services from Fuzhou and Xiamen provide a welcome boost in air capacity at a time when visitor numbers from China continue to climb to record levels, with Australia welcoming more than 918,000 visitors in the past year alone off the back of 21 per cent growth,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“With tourism from China continuing to grow at such a rapid pace, the addition of new services such as those by Xiamen Airlines will assist in ensuring we can keep up with the growing demand for Australia’s tourism offering from this important market.”
Xiamen Airlines will be Sydney Airport’s fifth Chinese mainland airline serving destinations across mainland China.