In a landmark move signalling a resurgence in international travel and economic interconnectivity, China Southern Airlines, the largest airline in China, has reinstated its direct flights from Guangzhou to Brisbane. This pivotal development, marking the first such service in nearly four years, heralds a significant boost for Queensland’s tourism and export sectors.
The inaugural return flight, CZ381, arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule and departed carrying 13,000 kilograms of Queensland exports, including the region’s famed mangoes. This event represents more than a flight schedule; it signifies a renewed bridge between two dynamic economies.
Queensland, known for its vibrant tourist attractions and rich export commodities, is set to benefit immensely from this renewed connection. Before the pandemic, China was Queensland’s most lucrative international market, accounting for significant visitor spending. The restoration of this critical route is expected to revitalize this sector.
In a statement that underlines the significance of this development, Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO of Brisbane Airport, emphasized the dual impact of the return of China Southern Airlines. “Not only does this mark the revival of a key tourist and export route, but it also introduces a more sustainable and efficient mode of travel with the A350 aircraft,” he said. “This aircraft is a testament to our commitment to environmentally conscious travel, reducing fuel burn and CO2 emissions significantly.”
The importance of this service extends beyond immediate economic gains. Stirling Hinchliffe, Minister for Tourism Innovation and Sport, noted that it is vital in fast-tracking Queensland’s recovery in the post-pandemic era. “The return of China Southern Airlines is a cornerstone in rebuilding our international visitor economy,” Hinchliffe stated. “It’s not just about numbers; it’s about reconnecting cultures and strengthening our ties with one of our most significant partners.”
From a business perspective, resuming these flights is a strategic win. As Jason Sun, China Southern Airlines’ Regional General Manager for Australia & NZ, remarked, “This is more than a flight schedule; it’s about fostering stronger business and cultural ties between China and Queensland.”
The revitalization of this air link is part of a broader initiative, the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, which has successfully negotiated 26 deals in partnership with Queensland’s international airports. These deals are projected to support nearly 20,000 local jobs and inject substantial revenue into the state’s economy.
Marketing efforts are underway in China, highlighting Queensland’s allure as a premier tourist destination. These efforts, combined with the direct flight service, are expected to significantly boost Chinese visitor numbers, which, pre-pandemic, played a crucial role in Queensland’s tourism sector.
Brisbane Airport, too, is gearing up for a brighter future. Its ambitious ‘Future BNE’ project involves over $5 billion in investments across 150 projects, setting the stage for a modernized and world-class aviation hub.
In conclusion, the return of China Southern Airlines to Brisbane is more than a resumed service; it’s a symbol of resilience, a bridge for trade and tourism, and a beacon of hope for an industry and a region ready to soar to new heights.
Written by: Charmaine Lu
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