Xiamen Airlines will launch the first ever intercontinental route between Fuzhou and a destination outside of Asia with the opening of a regularly scheduled non-stop flight between Fuzhou and Sydney on 29 November 2015.
The airline will also initiate non-stop service between Xiamen and Sydney starting from 5 December.
Che Shanglun, Chairman of the Board and General Manager of Xiamen Airlines, said that China had inked a comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia in November 2014, thanks to talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The new services connect dynamic and multicultural Australia with the culturally and linguistically diverse Fujian province, enhancing trade and economic cooperation as well as cultural and people exchanges while offering Fujian-born Chinese living in Australia a convenient way of flying home.
Xiamen Airlines launched non-stop service between Xiamen and Amsterdam in July 2015, marking the opening of the airline’s first intercontinental route. The new services to Sydney, operated by Boeing 787-8 aircraft, will help Xiamen Airlines expand its network into Oceania. The new Xiamen route reduces travel time between the city and Australia to nine hours.
Xiamen Airlines plans to continue expanding its overseas network while its fleet of Boeing 787-8 aircraft will service international routes. The airline plans to add the more advanced Boeing 787-9 aircraft to the fleet in a move to further expand its global network. It plans to launch non-stop service to Melbourne, Vancouver and New York in 2016, in an effort to build out a network that offers comprehensive coverage of the US, Europe and Australia.
In line with the addition of the new flights to Sydney, Xiamen Airlines launched a public services tour program by investing 10 million yuan (approx. US$1.6 million) to support the granting of Australian visas to Chinese youngsters so that they can enjoy a working holiday in Australia, as part of an effort to boost cultural exchanges between the two countries.