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New Qantas-China Eastern partnership to result in 30% more flights to Tasmania
The unprecedented boom in Chinese tourism to Tasmania has prompted Qantas, Australia's national airline, to enter a partnership with China Eastern Airlines which will result in 30 percent more flights to the island next year.
 
Qantas on Monday announced it would add a further 11 weekly return flights - 46, up from 35 - to the Tasmanian capital, Hobart, from Melbourne and Sydney by March 2016.
 
The announcement will form part of Qantas' "one-ticket" scheme with Shanghai-based China Eastern, which will allow Chinese visitors to travel from China to Hobart - or the north Tasmanian city of Launceston - without needing to purchase separate tickets.
 
Flight codes for China Eastern, under the new arrangement, will feature on Qantas services from Melbourne and Sydney to Hobart, as well as flights from Melbourne to Launceston.
 
Tasmania's state Premier Will Hodgman said on Monday the deal would make the area more accessible to Chinese tourists, as the island state aimed to reach 1.5 million visitors by 2020.
 
"This not only makes it more seamless for Chinese travelers to get to our island, it also increases the prominence of Tasmania as a destination in our number one international tourism market," Hodgman said in a statement.
 
"This change has huge potential to build on the record number of Chinese tourists visiting Tasmania, which has increased by 38 percent in the past year."
 
The state hit record highs in terms of spending (1.42 billion U.S. dollars) and visitors (1.15 million people) last year, largely due to China's broadening relationship with the region.
  Source: Ecns

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