The first of two new air services from China landed in Queensland today, creating a new route that will deliver thousands of tourists to Australia.

China Southern Airlines’ new Guangzhou to Cairns service landed today and will operate three times a week, while Air China will launch its new Beijing to Brisbane route flying four times a week from 12 December.

Last month China Eastern Airlines also boosted the frequency of its Shanghai to Brisbane route, from four times a week to a daily service.

The new flights come during the China-Australia Year of Tourism and will help attract more visitors to Queensland.

The Turnbull Coalition Government, through Tourism Australia, has invested significant marketing support to attract these new air services.

Chinese travellers can now fly to Australia from 17 cities with ten airlines operating around 150 direct flights per week to six ports in Australia.

The new flights come after the Turnbull Coalition Government secured an historic aviation agreement with China.

The agreement allows Australian and Chinese airlines to offer unlimited flights to and from any points in Australia and China, including international airports in regional Australia. This is the first time China has signed such an agreement with any country.

Earlier this year, I led a delegation of chief executives from the Australian tourism sector to China to explore opportunities arising from the landmark agreement.

China is Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable tourism market. It has the potential to be worth more than $13 billion by 2020.

The Turnbull Coalition Government is working to grow this important market and attract more tourists to Australia, doing so will create new Australia jobs and drive economic growth.

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