Melbourne will now serve 10 Chinese destinations after adding a non-stop service to Chongqing on Tianjin Airlines.
Melbourne is the only Australian city that Tianjin Airlines will operate from and the only airport to provide non-stop access to Chongqing.
The airline’s inaugural service will take-off at 1:40pm today carrying travellers on an A330-200.
The service will operate three times per week, adding a further 78,745 seats (both ways) to Melbourne annually.
Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy said Tianjin’s service is exciting news for Victorian travellers.
“This service is great for Victorians as we’re able to facilitate travel on a new airline while opening up yet another destination into mainland China,” said Mr Gandy.
“The non-stop service is going to enable stronger tourism and business opportunities in both cities by broadening our current trade opportunities.”
“Chongqing is a major manufacturing hub for automobile, steel and aluminium industries and is considered a financial centre for China’s southwest.”
“Chongqing is home more than 30 million people making it one of China’s biggest cities and as China is Victoria’s largest inbound tourism market, we anticipate this route to be a busy one.”
Tickets are now on sale for the service, which will see flights depart Melbourne on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1:40pm arriving into Chongqing at 9:40pm. Services will depart Chongqing at 10:10pm arriving into Melbourne at 11:40am.
Mr Gandy said Tianjin Airlines’ service to Chongqing is one of four new Chinese destinations to be added to Melbourne Airport’s schedule in 2017.
“This year we’ve seen an influx of airlines introduce new routes between Melbourne and China, which demonstrates the strength in the market,” said Mr Gandy.
“It’s great to facilitate travel and enable connections all over the world and while we’re focused on the here and now, we are also focused on the future, which is the fun part.”
“Works are well underway on two major projects that will enhance the traveller experience for our international travellers including installing an eighth baggage carousel and self-service check-in kiosks.
“Of course our biggest investment will be our proposed third runway which will increase aircraft movements from approximately 55 movements per hour to around 90 movements.”
“We look forward to the future and will continue to invest in this vitally important asset to enable growth into Asia and other international markets.”