New flights linking Victoria to biggest trade partner

Published: 11 June 2024

Plane flying through the airVictoria’s international tourism and aviation sectors are set to grow with extra flights from China’s financial hub.

Major carrier China Eastern Airlines will increase flights to Melbourne Airport from Shanghai Pudong International Airport from September and introduce new flights out of Nanjing Lukou International Airport from July.

Backed by the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, these flights will enable better connections with Shanghai – China’s biggest city – as well as Nanjing, the capital of our sister-state Jiangsu Province.

The flights are set to generate 1,183 new Victorian jobs and a $205 million annual boost for the state’s economy.

These new flights will boost tourism to Victoria by providing 100,000 extra seats for visitors from China each year, helping to bring tourist numbers from the world’s second largest economy back to pre-pandemic levels.

China Eastern Airlines’ new flights will also boost trade between Victoria and China, providing nearly 3,650 tonnes of extra air freight export capacity per year. Despite the effects of the pandemic, China remains Victoria’s largest trading partner with two-way merchandise trade in 2023 worth $39 billion.

This year Victoria celebrates its 45th year sister-state relationship with Jiangsu, making it our oldest and most enduring.

Victoria’s visitor economy continues to thrive with Melbourne becoming Australia’s first capital city airport to exceed pre-pandemic international capacity in December 2023, plus global travellers generating $6.4 billion in tourism expenditure across the state last year.