New Jetstar route commits to bringing in 35,000 more tourists from China per year
A new route to boost tourism in Melbourne and beyond.
Jetstar is adding another key Chinese city to its repertoire, with Zhengzhou, a city of more than 10 million people, joining the roster.
The airline ran its first flight between Australia and China eight years ago. It's grown a lot since then, and the budget carrier now runs 68 flights a week across Asia to 20 destinations in China.
It's the first nonstop intercontinental passenger route between central China's Henan province and Australia, and Jetstar is clearly anticipating a lot of demand with flights starting at a fairly dear, by Jetstar standards, $566 each way.
Melbourne is the lucky city on the other end, with Victoria's minister for tourism and major events, John Eren, describing it as "another major coup," and "proof that Victoria has the best of everything." However, it's likely that most visitors will be going far beyond Melbourne as Jetstar group CEO Jane Hrdlicka points out.
"We know that Chinese travellers generally visit two or three cities when they visit Australia, so we expect this will boost tourism to other parts of Australia," she said. "China is an incredibly important market for us and will continue to grow."
"China already accounts for the largest source of tourism in Victoria, and by 2020 it’s predicted that China will overtake New Zealand to be Australia’s largest tourism market."
The new flights will start in December and run twice weekly on Jetstar's Boeing 787 aircraft. It's estimated this new route will bring in an estimated 35,000 more tourists from China per year.
Described as an emerging megacity, Zhengzhou serves as the economic, political, technological and educational hub of the Henan province in central China. It's also a major transport hub, so this route might open up a lot of new opportunities for Australians to visit China on a budget.
However, it's already possible to get full-service flights to China for around $350 return if you manage to pick up a sale, which is roughly a third of the price of this new route, but to date these have been largely limited to the other major destinations like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
If you're not too fussed about stopovers, it's probably already possible to visit Zhengzhou considerably cheaper. Flights are already on sale through Jetstar, and you can compare the price of these new flights to indirect alternatives below.
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