Sichuan Airlines’ inaugural Chengdu-Chongqing-Sydney service has opened up a gateway for Western Chinese visitors by providing direct access to Sydney. The twice-weekly permanent service launched on December 20, 2013.
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello said, “Sichuan Airlines is a new service for NSW that will see twice weekly flights on its Airbus A330-200 aircraft provide more than 50,000 seats annually. Sydney Airport estimates this will bring around $36.5 million in visitor expenditure to the NSW economy each year”.
The inaugural flight touched down on December 20, 2013
The new Sichuan Airlines service supports recent findings from the International Visitor Survey, for the year to September 2013, which shows China remains the top source market of visitors to Sydney and NSW.
NSW is Australia’s number one State for Chinese tourism, attracting 61.1 per cent of all Chinese tourists who visit the country.
China now ranks as the largest international contributor of visitor nights and expenditure in NSW. For the year ending September 2013, a 13.8 per cent increase saw 413,000 visitors to NSW from China, which contributed $1.38 billion to the State’s economy.
This strong growth in Chinese visitors to NSW is proof the NSW Government’s China Tourism Strategy to increase visitor numbers from China is working. The strategy has been funded by the NSW Government to the tune of $15 million over the next four years”.
Sydney Airport chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said Chengdu is an important economic, transport and communication hub, and Chongqing is an industrial centre for manufacturing and transport, with a combined population of around 44 million people.
She said, “China is a huge growth market for Sydney Airport and we’re very pleased that passengers will now be able to access Sydney directly from Western China”.
Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said the new Sichuan Airlines service linking Chengdu, Chongqing and Sydney will generate new tourism and business opportunities for NSW.
She said, “Western China is one of the most exciting growth markets in China for NSW tourism. To ensure we continue to develop opportunities to increase visitation from this region to NSW, Destination NSW recently appointed a new Business Development Manager, Mr Allan Yang, who is based in Chengdu”.