New flights from Australia to China and US announced

by Ray Clancy on June 11, 2015

in Australia Travel

Getting to and from Australia is set to get even easier this year with major airline deals offering more flights to and from the United States and China.

Qantas and American Airlines have announced an expansion to their relationship which will see the US carrier fly from Los Angeles to Sydney for the first time and Qantas return to San Francisco later this year.

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China and the US will both begin operating an increased number of flights to Australia later this year

Meanwhile Australia’s Gold Coast is set to get new direct flights from China when a new service starts in September from Wuhan with seats for up to 35,000 additional travellers a year.

American Airlines will begin daily direct flights between Los Angeles and Sydney from 17 December this year and at the same time Qantas will restart direct Sydney to San Francisco flights six days a week.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan welcomed the capacity increases and the decision by American Airlines to add Australia to its international network. ‘The United States is one of our largest volume and highest spending markets, with more than half a million American visitors pumping more than $2.6 billion tourism dollars into our economy each year,’ he said.

‘As part of our Tourism 2020 ambitions, we hope to grow the US market to more in excess of $5 billion by the end of the decade, and if we’re to achieve those sort of numbers we still need a significant and sustainable growth in aviation capacity. America Airlines obviously has a huge footprint within the United States and also significant marketing resources which, when combined together, will significantly improve access and awareness of Australia amongst many millions of American holiday makers and business travellers,’ he added.

The new China flights are part of an agreement with Jetstar Airways and Hubei Wanda New Airline International Travel Services. According to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk the new route represents an important aviation milestone for the state.

‘Over two years the Wuhan-Gold Coast service has the potential to generate $53 million in visitor expenditure to the local economy, in turn supporting jobs and small business,’ she said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said Chinese travellers loved the Gold Coast with 60% of all Chinese visitors to Queensland including the Gold Coast on their visit. ‘The City of Gold Coast has long recognised the opportunity of the Chinese market and working with Gold Coast Tourism has driven the push for direct flights,’ he explained.

‘This is the culmination of a concerted campaign which will inject millions into the local economy and help create more local jobs,’ he added.

Meanwhile, the latest figures show that international capacity to Australia rebounded during February 2015, up 1%, with New Zealand and the US recording the strongest growth. China also recorded growth in February boosted by the later timing of Chinese New Year and growth from Hong Kong.

However, domestic capacity within Australia continued to decline, down 1%, and continued to be focused on high traffic mining routes such as Brisbane-Emerald, Brisbane-Moranbah, Brisbane-Mackay, and Sydney-Townsville. The largest increases focussed on more leisure-based routes such as Ballina-Sydney, Cairns-Melbourne, Hamilton Island-Sydney, and Brisbane-Hobart.

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