On August 25, 2016, Air China held a press conference in Chengdu, announcing that their Chengdu-Sydney service will begin on November 11, 2016. After the launch of Chengdu-Frankfurt and Chengdu-Paris flights, this route is Air China’s third intercontinental flight based in its Chengdu hub, and also its first nonstop service between western China and Oceania. Not only will travelers flying out of Chengdu be able to directly fly to the sunny port city of Sydney, but people from cities all across western China including Xi’an, Kunming, Urumchi, Guiyang, Lanzhou, and Xining can also fly from Chengdu to travel to the southern hemisphere.
Recently, the number of Chinese tourists that have toured and vacationed in Australia has been on the rise. Statistics from Tourism Australia show that in April 2016, the number of Chinese tourists that came to Australia reached 97,200, rising by 32.6% over the previous year. Among cities in China’s mainland, the Chengdu-Australia air traffic flow ranks fourth after Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
Up until now, Air China has launched direct flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Sydney and Melbourne, 30 flights every week between China and Australia. Air China plans to launch its Shenzhen-Melbourne service at the end of 2016 to further solidify its China-Australia airline network and complete and interact with flights from Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu to Australia, providing more diversified options for Chinese passengers from different regions to travel to Australia. In addition, by taking advantage of Star Alliance’s strong airline networks, passengers can travel to more destinations through its counterparts in Star Alliance.
In 2016, Air China has continued to speed up its global airline network layout with Beijing as its pivot point and carry out steady construction on regional aviation hubs. After the launch of its Chengdu-Sydney service, the number of Air China Chengdu-based flights will reach 74, 14 of which are international and regional airlines. The airline network covers Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
The flight number for the Chengdu-Sydney service is CA429/30 with three flights every week (outbound flights: Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday; inbound flights: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday). The outbound flight takes off from Chengdu at 22:55 local time and arrives at Sydney at 12:35 local time; the inbound flight takes off from Sydney at 14:35 local time and arrives at Chengdu at 22:35 local time. This airline employs A330-200.