One of the largest airlines in western China will soon fly daily to Melbourne, bringing thousands of visitors to Victoria each year, boosting trade and investment opportunities, increasing export capacity and creating more than 700 tourism and aviation jobs.
Sichuan Airlines is increasing its non-stop flights between Chengdu and Melbourne, establishing a daily service by September 2024 – thanks to support from the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport.
Sichuan Airlines will operate four extra flights per week, adding 63,000 seats per year to Melbourne. The expansion is expected to accelerate the return of visitors from China and contribute more than $125 million annually to the Victorian economy.
The additional flights will see the airline surpass its pre-COVID number of flights and strengthen trade links between Victoria and China by adding almost 2,500 tonnes of additional air freight export capacity.
China is Victoria’s largest trading partner and was our largest international tourism market in 2019 with more than 675,000 visitors contributing $3.4 billion to the local economy.
Daily flights will also encourage even more students from China to study in Victoria. China is currently the top source of international students in the state, making up 22 per cent of the population.
Sichuan Airlines adds to a growing list of major international airlines the Government has supported to increase flights to Melbourne including Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, LATAM, Bamboo Airways, Scoot, VietJet and China Southern Airlines.