Premier Jay Weatherill
The State Government has signed an agreement with China Southern Airlines to promote tourism between South Australia and China, paving the way for direct passenger services between Adelaide and Guangzhou.
Premier Jay Weatherill said the agreement, signed at a meeting with China Southern in Guangzhou on Friday, is important to securing the service with the global airline – the world’s sixth largest.
“The interest from China Southern Airlines has been growing and we are now committing to help their market to build awareness of South Australia by building a strong business case for flights to Adelaide,” Mr Weatherill said.
“Securing this service with direct flights to mainland China would create around 100 direct jobs, as well as flow on benefits for our hotels, our restaurants and other tourism operators.
“International visitors are critical to the State’s economic growth with the latest figures revealing they injected $900 million into our visitor economy last year.
“Next month, Qatar Airlines begins daily services between Adelaide and Doha, so we have enormous potential to grow that value even further.”
China Southern is one of China’s largest carriers and is delivering the fastest growth of international services. It operates over 500 aircraft with over 2000 flights every day to 195 destinations in China and around the world.
Direct passenger services between Adelaide and China (Hong Kong) are already available through Cathay Pacific.
Mr Bignell said the agreement commits South Australia to work to support China Southern and jointly promote the growing demand for tourism to South Australia.
“In the 12 months to December 2015, China was the state’s fourth largest tourism market and more than 32,000 Chinese visitors travelled here - a rise of 4.7 per cent on the year before and the third year in a row of year on year growth,” Mr Bignell said.
“Direct flights into Adelaide would obviously increase this already high number of Chinese visitors.
“Our partner Adelaide Airport Limited has been instrumental in our discussions with China Southern, and we are grateful for their commitment to working with us to grow the number of international services coming into Adelaide.”