Qantas launches new Sydney-Beijing flight
Qantas' new service to Beijing took off on Jan 26. The new service aims to help power the Australia-China travel boom and marks the Australian airliner's next step in its Chinese growth strategy.
Beijing is Qantas' third destination in China, in addition to Shanghai and Hong Kong. The new service gives the capital's residents a direct gateway to Australia.
It represents a huge opportunity for the Australian tourism industry and companies doing business in China under a Free Trade Agreement, an official with Qantas says.
Flights to Australia on the new route are timed to connect with Qantas' domestic network to popular onward destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart, as well as the airline's Tasman services to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Meanwhile, Qantas will be working with Tourism Australia and Destination NSW to draw more Chinese to visit. It will also sell the route with its joint venture partner China Eastern.
Flights operates to Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, using a 235 seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Overall, the service adds 3,300 seats to the market per week.
The 12-hour route takes Qantas' long history of serving China into a new era, says Qantas' CEO Alan Joyce.
"It's the perfect time for Qantas to fly to Beijing. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is hitting its stride and China is on track to become the number one source of visitors to Australia within the next year or so," says Joyce.
"What's really exciting is the potential we see for the future. We now have the Qantas Group's biggest ever network in Greater China, and our goal is to make our Beijing route a flagship corridor for tourism and trade."
The new Beijing service is part of Qantas' growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region, increasing its total capacity on routes to Asia by seven per cent.
Together with its partners China Eastern and China Southern, Qantas customers can now choose from 130 weekly return flights between Australia and China, plus close to 256 connecting services to domestic destinations within China.
The Jetstar Group of airlines offers more than 30 return flights a week into eight Chinese cities from Singapore and Vietnam.
The route launch follows the beginning of Melbourne-Tokyo Narita flights before Christmas and the announcement of a new Jetstar service between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh city, to begin in May 2017.