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China's Southern Airlines Launches Direct Flight Between Guangzhou , Adelaide
The first direct flight from southern Chinese city of Guangzhou arrived in Adelaide, capital of South Australia, Tuesday.
The first direct flight from southern Chinese city of Guangzhou arrived in Adelaide, capital of South Australia, Tuesday.

Adelaide Airport welcomed the major flight with a water-cannon salute.

The Airbus A330-200, packed with more than 190 passengers, touched down on time at 9.30 a.m. local time. This is the sixth flight that China Southern offers between Guangzhou and a capital city in Australia.

This tri-weekly flight, China Southern Flight 663, further enhanced China Southern's leading position in the highly competitive China-Australia aviation market, China Southern's Sales Manager Guo Jianye said.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill expected the direct flight will be "instrumental" in boosting the state's international profile and local economy.

"This partnership will not only provide positive impacts for tourism, trade, education and investment but will create hundreds of jobs across the state," he said.

"China is South Australia's largest trading partner and the state government is committed to expanding and identifying opportunities of mutual benefits across all sectors."

Tan Wangeng, President and CEO of China Southern Airlines, said the planning of the flight have been six years in the making. Thanks to Premier Weatherill's visit to Guangzhou in April this year, the flight became a realities sooner than expected.

"I believe that the launch of our new Adelaide-Guangzhou route will further promote the economic and cultural exchanges between Australia and China and encourage South Australia to open more to the international community," Tan said.

South Australian government expected the direct flight between Adelaide and Guangzhou will help bring 120,000 extra visitors a year to Adelaide and create 100 to 150 direct employments.

In the year ending September 2016, the state has attracted 38,000 Chinese visitors, a 31 percent increase on previous year.

Earlier this month, Australian and Chinese governments have settled arrangement to open aviation market between the two countries. The new arrangements will remove all capacity restrictions between Australia and China for each country's airline and will liberalize traffic rights and code share arrangements.

Figures from the Australian government showed that more than 1.93 million people travelled between the two countries by air in 2015, a 14.3 percent increase than the previous year.

China is Australia's fastest growing and highest spending international visitor market. More than 1 million Chinese tourists visited Australia in 2015-16 (up 22.3 percent from the previous year), and spent almost 9 billion AU dollars (6.7 billion U.S. dollars) during their stay.

John O'Sullivan, Tourism Australia CEO, said in the past six years, the Chinese market for Australian tourism has been increasing at an average rate of 20 percent. He expected that in 2017, the China-Australia Year of Tourism, the Chinese tourist market will continue the momentum.
  Source: ecns

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