Victoria connects with sister state as China Eastern expands operations

Victoria connects with sister state as China Eastern expands operations

Melbourne Airport welcomed China Eastern’s inaugural flight from Nanjing to Melbourne this morning, linking Victoria for the first time with its sister state Jiangsu Province.

Prior to today, Nanjing was one of the largest unserved markets in China at Melbourne Airport with more than 60,000 passengers making their way between Nanjing and Melbourne every year.

The service will operate on an Airbus A330 every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving from Nanjing at 10am and departing Melbourne at midday.

China Eastern will now operate 13 flights a week out of Melbourne Airport, three more than prior to the pandemic.

The additional capacity brings the Chinese market back to 92 per cent of pre pandemic levels.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos said the new flights unlock another vital high-value market for Victorian export and tourism.

“China is such a critical market for Melbourne Airport and for the state: a daily international flight from China to Melbourne brings in more than $150 million for the Victorian economy,” he said.

“The Chinese market has been slow to recover but we are seeing green shoots, and that’s thanks to the great support of airlines such as China Eastern which have invested in Melbourne.

“Melbourne Airport’s first direct connection to Nanjing opens up a new market for tourism and export growth, with China being Victoria’s largest two-way trading partner.

“The number of China Eastern flights into Melbourne Airport is now 30 per cent higher than before Covid, and that growth is made possible by the open skies agreement between China and Australia, which gives airlines certainty to expand existing footprints across the nation.”