There’ll be no shortage of choice for Australians looking to travel to China in the coming year, nor will be there a lack of options for Chinese holidaymakers hoping to visit the land down under.

Why? Because China Eastern Airlines is drastically expanding its presence across the country, with new routes between Australia and China.

Come February 2017, and the airline, which has been operating in Australia for some 60 years, will enter a new era on the ‘boomerang route’ with flights from three Australian locations to six mainland China cities.

The gates between the two countries really are opening, just as the Australian government hoped and planned.

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Revealed at a function in Sydney last night, by the end of January 2017 China Eastern Airlines said it will serve six mainland China cities from Sydney – Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Kunming, Nanjing and Wuhan.

While a couple of the above flights are already in operation, new direct services for the airline will be flights from Sydney to Kunming and Hangzhou in November 2016 to February 2017.

December 2016 will see the introduction of Brisbane to Shanghai flights, four times weekly, while the Sydney to Shanghai service will increase to double daily flights from mid-December to February 2017.

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Sydney to Beijing services (codes hare with Qantas) will commence in January 2017, along with the launch of a new Sydney to Wuhan route the same month.

In total, the airline will operate 58 flights between Australia and China, while also introducing new aircraft such as the new Boeing 777-300ER, which will be used on Shanghai services from Melbourne and Sydney in 2016.

According to China Eastern Airlines’ General Manager for Oceania, Kathy Zhang, the new routes reflect a 23 percent increase in demand from Chinese visitors to Australia this year.

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“China is Australia’s largest source for tourists and China Eastern Airlines is geared up to service this demand.”

Kathy Zhang, China Eastern Airlines General Manager – Oceania

“Our investment in new routes demonstrates CEA’s commitment to extending Australia’s tourism footprint to important secondary cities in mainland China.

“It deepens global business opportunities, as reflected by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), provides greater connectivity for passengers and directly connects two of the world’s most respectful cultures, acting as a gateway for Australia to the globe.”

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