Past Media Releases

Cairns welcomes first flight from Shenzhen

20 December 2017

Hainan Airlines inaugural flight arrival in Cairns

A new flight path from Shenzhen to Cairns will inject $64 million into the Tropical North Queensland economy over the next two years, in what leaders say is a game changer for the industry.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones welcomed the first Hainan Airlines flights direct from Shenzhen early this morning.

“This new route will see Hainan Airlines fly twice a week to Cairns, providing a major boost for the local tourism industry and local economy,” she said.

“Chinese tourists are Queensland’s most valuable and fastest growing international market and we expect up to 30,000 Chinese visitors to arrive in Cairns using this direct flight over the next two years.

“This new route means we are continuing towards our goal of making Queensland the Australian destination of choice for Chinese visitors.

“With a travel time of just under eight hours this new flight path will provide the quickest route for Chinese travellers to Australia and provides tourists direct access to two World Heritage-listed natural wonders - the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.

“It’s only through the Palaszczuk Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and the work of Tourism and Events Queensland and Cairns Airport that we’ve been able to secure this new route.”

Ms Jones said the Palaszczuk Government had already secured new international flights bringing an additional 740,000 seats and injecting $570 million into our economy every year.

“We’ll continue to invest in Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry with $48 million to set up the Attracting Tourism Fund to bring more direct flights and cruise ships to Queensland,” she said.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter said the airport was delighted to roll out the red carpet to welcome Hainan Airlines to Cairns.

“With more than 80 per cent of our Chinese visitors currently using a domestic flight to get to and from Cairns, this new service will enable them to spend less time travelling and more time enjoying everything Tropical North Queensland has to offer,” Mr Carter said.

“The city of Shenzhen has around 11 million residents and is situated near Hong Kong in the heavily populated Pearl River Delta region.

“These flights offer access to Cairns and Great Barrier Reef to a huge number of potential Chinese visitors. The Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport serves as Hainan Airlines’ Asia Pacific hub for passengers and cargo.”

“Hainan Airlines’ codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia offers Chinese visitors a convenient option to also include other parts of Queensland and Australia in their travel itinerary.”