First direct flight from China arrives in Adelaide

Guest Writer

19 Feb 10 ( The first direct passenger flight from China arrived in Adelaide on 16 February, providing a non-stop air link into South Australia from the world’s most populous nation.

The flight arrival has been welcomed by Adelaide Airport (AAL), the Department of Trade and Economic Development and the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), who are working together to increase flight and passenger numbers into Adelaide from key domestic and international destinations.

SATC Acting Chief Executive, Jo Podoliak, said the China Southern Airlines flight was an important first step in opening up South Australia as a holiday destination for travelers from the massive Chinese market.

“Our expectation is that this charter from Shenzhen will be the first in a series of such flights from China as we work to build Adelaide and South Australia as a recognised destination for Chinese holiday makers,” Ms Podoliak said.

“China has now overtaken Japan as Asia’s largest source of visitors to South Australia, and we expect this growth to continue.

“Nationally, China is the fifth largest international source of visitors, but only accounts for 3% of international visitors to South Australia. With direct flights, we will see our State’s market share rise.

“Chinese visitors are vital to our future growth because they provide us with the highest total tourism expenditure of all international source countries.”

Adelaide Airport Ltd Managing Director, Phil Baker, said the China Southern charter flight provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the airport’s facilities and easy access to the city and attractions.

“This is the first time a China-based commercial flight, charter or otherwise, has visited Adelaide. China has a rapidly growing aviation market, and China Southern Airlines is the country’s largest carrier,” Mr Baker said.

“China Southern has two major hubs – at Beijing and the brand new Baiyun International Airport at Guangzhou. The airline has 342 aircrafts serving 841 cities in 162 countries, and is ranked as the 4th largest airline in the world.

“Clearly we see significant potential in attracting China Southern to Adelaide, which will create inbound tourism and business opportunities as well as opening up new connections into China and on to Asian and European destinations.

“Charter flights such as this are a real stepping stone in building recognition of South Australia among Chinese consumers and helping us develop a compelling business case for regular scheduled services.”

Seats into Adelaide on today’s China Southern Airlines charter flight have been sold and marketed by Chinese travel company BCTS, which specialises in travel to Australia.

The South Australian 2009-2014 Tourism Plan aims to increase the number of weekly international seats in to Adelaide to 10,000 by 2014, an increase from 2,800 in 2003.

– ENDS –

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