Three major airline deals announced in recent weeks will deliver big benefits for Queensland’s aviation and tourism industries.
In early September, the Queensland Government announced that China’s Hainan Airlines would start twice-weekly direct flights between Shenzhen and Cairns. Soon afterwards came the news that China Eastern Airlines would increase its direct Shanghai-Brisbane flights to daily.
The three deals are part of a Queensland Government strategy to boost the Queensland economy by attracting international airlines and flights.
The Qantas plan to base four Dreamliners in Brisbane will create 120 local jobs for flight and cabin crew, along with 350 indirect jobs associated with the fleet operations here.
The new Dreamliners will also put Brisbane within range of direct flights to cities including Dallas, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Chicago and Seattle, opening up new markets for business and tourism.
The new Hainan flights are expected to bring up to 30,000 visitors to Cairns over the next two years, while China Eastern’s extra Shanghai-Brisbane flights should bring more than 120,000 new visitors over the next four years.
The Queensland Government has been instrumental in securing all three deals.
The government’s $10 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund supports new or expanding airlines to bring more passengers to Queensland, while the $33.5 million Connecting with Asia Fund aims to increase the number of visitors from Asia.
The new flights are scheduled to begin before the end of 2017, and the first of the Brisbane-based Dreamliners is expected to arrive in mid-2018.
Tourism is one of the major export industries identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.