More direct flights from China to boost tourism, trade and jobs

Published: 10 July 2023

Increased flights to Melbourne from one of China’s largest airlines will bring more visitors, enable more exports and create more jobs.

China Southern Airlines will add 10 more flights each week to Melbourne, operating 17 non-stop flights per week from Guangzhou and potentially Shenzhen by the end of 2024.

Supported by the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, the extra flights will add almost 154,000 seats to Melbourne and contribute more than $308 million to the state’s economy annually, while creating an estimated 1,700 jobs in the aviation and tourism sectors.

China Southern currently operates a daily flight to Melbourne Airport from Guangzhou, one of China’s largest cities and a key trading and transport hub. The airline will increase to two daily flights by November and an additional three more flights per week from either Guangzhou or nearby Shenzhen by December 2024.

The additional flights will help accelerate the return the visitors from China, which was Victoria’s largest international tourism market in 2019 with more than 675,000 visitors contributing $3.4 billion to the local economy.

Victoria is also a popular study destination for students from China with more than 33,000 international students, making up 23 per cent – and the largest group – of international students in the state.

With more than 6,000 tonnes of air freight capacity annually, the additional flights on the airline’s Boeing 787-900 aircraft will also enable more exports to China, Victoria’s largest trading partner. In 2022, two-way trade with China was valued at almost $40 billion.

China Southern adds to a growing list of major international airlines the Government has supported to expand flights to Melbourne including Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Bamboo Airways, Scoot, VietJet and LATAM Airlines.