Air China to start Brisbane-Beijing direct flights in December 2017

Andrew Munro 18 September 2017 NEWS

shutterstock beijing skyline buildings 738x410

The first Brisbane-Beijing overnighter.

Starting on 11 December 2017, Air China will commence direct Brisbane-Beijing flights. Flights will run four times per week, taking off from Brisbane at 7.30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday arriving in China the next morning. The trip will be made with an Airbus A330-200, so business class travellers can get some use out of the lie-flat beds on this overnight leg.

It's the first direct service between Greater Northern China and Queensland, so it's going to open up a lot of new tourism opportunities for both Australia and China.

Air China (not to be confused with China Airlines) may occupy a slightly cheaper spot on the price spectrum than most other Australia-China airlines but still comes in as a comfortable full-service carrier and one of the more cost-effective ways to make the trip.

The news comes shortly after the announcement of daily Brisbane-Shanghai flights on China Eastern, but Beijing might be a slightly better hub for ongoing travel, depending on destination. Visitors from Australia can take advantage of visa-free stopovers for up to 72-hours, making this route an effective way of snagging a "free" holiday en route.

But mostly, the new route is expected to carry visitors to Brisbane from Beijing, with Queensland tourism minister Kate Jones describing it as a way for Queensland to get a bigger piece of the growing international tourism pie.

"China is Queensland's largest international market, generating close to a fifth of Queensland’s total tourism expenditure," Jones explained.

"We know the best way to grow tourism in Queensland is to secure more direct international flights," said Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk. "Securing flights from China's capital city for the first time is a big coup for Queensland, opening up new opportunities to tap into this valuable market."

"It is crucial that Australia continues to strengthen its ties with China to help realise the full potential of this market," agreed federal tourism minister Steven Ciobo.

Australia is gaining recognition around the world as an international tourist destination, but the growth hasn't been equal across all states and may be largely dependent on what kind of travel packages are being sold overseas. As such, having direct flights can cut costs considerably for tourists coming to Australia and promote sales overseas.

In this case, one might expect travel agents in Beijing to start assembling more Queensland holiday deals.

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