SYDNEY, 26 January 2017: Qantas’ new flights to Beijing took off, Wednesday, just days before Chinese New Year starts.
Beijing is Qantas’ third destination in Greater China, joining Shanghai and Hong Kong. The new service gives the capital’s 21 million residents a direct gateway to Australia, representing a strong business opportunity for the Australian tourism industry and Australian companies doing business in China under the free trade agreement.
Inbound flights on the new route are timed to connect with Qantas’ domestic network to popular onward destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart, as well as the airline’s New Zealand services to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Qantas will be working with Tourism Australia, Destination NSW and across its own marketing channels to showcase Australia for a Chinese audience, as well as jointly selling the route with its joint venture partner China Eastern.
Flights will operate to Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, using a 235 seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Overall, the service adds 3,300 seats to the market per week.
CEO Alan Joyce said the 12-hour flight takes Qantas’ long history of serving China into a new era.
“It’s the perfect time for Qantas to fly to Beijing. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is hitting its stride and China is on track to become the number one source of visitors to Australia within the next year or so,” said Joyce.
“What’s really exciting is the potential we see for the future…and our goal is to make our Beijing route a flagship corridor for tourism and trade.”
The new Beijing service is part of Qantas’ growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region, increasing its total capacity on routes to Asia by 7%.
Together with its partners China Eastern and China Southern, Qantas customers can now choose from 130 weekly return flights between Australia and China, plus close to 256 connecting services to domestic destinations within China. The Jetstar Group of airlines offers more than 30 return flights a week into eight Chinese cities from Singapore and Vietnam.
Last week, the group announced a new Jetstar service between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City, starting this May.