Sydney’s first direct route from China’s fourth largest international airport touched down at Sydney Airport today.
Air China’s Chengdu-Sydney route is operated by A330-200 aircraft with 237 seats, with three weekly services.
“We’re delighted to welcome this new service to Sydney Airport, which provides direct access from western China and furthers our position as the world’s leading long haul airport for Chinese destinations,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“By the end of this month, Sydney Airport will have seven airlines flying to 13 Chinese cities. This service will bring 23,000 Chinese visitors and $89 million per year to the NSW visitor economy, and provides a key link to the business hub of western China.
“As one of the fastest developing cities in the world, Chengdu is also an appealing tourist destination, famous for its giant pandas.”
Air China Sydney General Manager Mr Jie Rui welcomed the new route.
“As the first Chinese airline to operate into Australia – and having flown between China and Australia for the last 32 years – Air China has seen firsthand the increasingly strong growth and development of services between our countries,” he said.
“With increasing demand from both the business and leisure market, Air China knows the introduction of the direct Sydney to Chengdu service will help support this demand.
“Chengdu is Air China’s second biggest hub. After our services to Frankfurt and Paris, this new route is Air China’s third intercontinental flight from Chengdu, and is also the first nonstop service between Chengdu and Sydney.”
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the new service will be promoted by Destination NSW, in partnership with Air China and other trade partners to drive visitation.
“NSW is committed to improving access to Sydney and our regions for Chinese passengers, who are our fastest growing and largest inbound visitor market,” Mr Ayres said.
“To June this year, NSW welcomed 639,000 visitors from China, up 21 per cent on the previous year and it shows no sign of slowing down.
“The new route will enable direct travel for tourists from Western China wanting to enjoy the natural beauty of NSW, as well as the quality of our food and wine experiences, our magnificent beaches, exciting events and festivals and our Aboriginal heritage.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan welcomed the new service.
“When you consider that Chengdu is home to an urban population of more than 10 million people, you really start to get an appreciation of why China’s so called secondary cities offer so much future tourism potential for Australia,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
He added that Tourism Australia would be working closely with Air China in the New Year to jointly promote the airline’s expanded Australian flight schedule, including the 17 weekly flights to Sydney from Beijing, Shanghai and now Chengdu.
Chengdu is Air China’s second largest hub offering connections to over 47 destinations within China and international cities including Frankfurt, Paris and Rome*. The airline’s A330-200 business class cabin features 170 degree flat-bed seats, a state-of-the-art AVOD entertainment system and limousine service in Chengdu. Its economy class offers a 32 inch seat pitch.
Sydney Airport has implemented a China ready strategy to welcome Chinese passengers, the airport’s largest and fastest growing international visitor market based on residency. Initiatives include Mandarin speaking Airport Ambassadors, digital channels and wayfinding in simplified Chinese, supporting events such as Lunar New Year, and tailored retail, food and beverage offerings.
Sunday, Tuesday and Friday: CA429 Departs Chengdu at 2255, arrives in Sydney at 1235+1
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday: CA430 Departs Sydney 1435, arrives 2235 in Chengdu
*Stopover may be required in one direction.