China Southern resumed direct Brisbane-Guangzhou flights after a four-year hiatus, touching down at BNE on 18 November 2023 and restoring a critical mainland route for one of Queensland’s most lucrative tourism markets.
The packed CZ flight also marked the first direct arrival of organised Chinese tourist groups under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme into Queensland since 2019.
Inbound tourists and crew were welcomed to BNE with locally made Saucy Wench Gourmet Foods dumplings and a media conference while the historic landing was live-streamed.
China’s largest carrier will initially operate four flights per week to Brisbane and increase to daily services from 8 December 2023 to cater for peak season demand.
China was the largest pre-pandemic international market for Queensland tourism, accounting for almost one in five international visitors and generating $1.6 billion in overnight visitor spending in 2019.
Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said the historic arrival “supercharges the inbound Chinese tourism market”.
“Not only do we celebrate the return of China Southern Airlines but the very first direct group arrivals from China into Queensland since the pandemic.”
Rebuilding Queensland’s visitor economy
Of the route, supported by the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe added: “The return of China Southern Airlines to Brisbane puts traction on the runway for fast-tracking the rebuild of Queensland’s international visitor economy.”
“China Southern reconnects Queensland with 169 cities in 39 countries that fly direct to Guangzhou’s international aviation hub, making this a strategic aviation service for recovery.”
CZ Regional GM Australia & NZ Jason Sun said: “This is an exciting moment with the resumption of flights from Guangzhou to Brisbane.”
“Through strong collaboration, China Southern Airlines aims to further expand the ‘Canton Route’ and contribute to the influx of tourists from China as well as business and leisure travellers from other parts of the globe to Queensland. We also look forward to welcoming Aussies to China.”
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