Jetstar has announced new direct flights from Zhengzhou in Central China to Melbourne, further boosting Chinese tourism to Victoria’s capital.

The twice-weekly flights on Jetstar’s Boeing 787 aircraft, are expected to bring an additional 35,000 Chinese tourists to Australia each year.

Jetstar Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, said the growing middle class in China presented enormous opportunities for Australian tourism.

“We are excited to provide a direct link from Melbourne to Zhengzhou in China, a city of more than10 million people. We expect our low-fares will further stimulate inbound tourism from China to Australia,” she said.

“China already accounts for the largest source of tourism in Victoria, and by 2020 it’s predicted that China will overtake New Zealand to be Australia’s largest tourism market.

“We know that Chinese travellers generally visit 2 or 3 cities when they visit Australia so we expect this will boost tourism to other parts of Australia.

“China is an incredibly important market for us and will continue to grow. Jetstar started flying to China just eight years ago, and we now operate 68 flights per week across Asia to 20 destinations in China,” Hrdlicka said.

Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, welcomed the inbound tourism boost.

“More direct flights to China means more visitors and greater business and trade opportunities for Victorians. To land Jetstar’s new direct service to Zhengzhou is another major coup – and further proof Victoria has the best of everything,” he said.

Zhengzhou serves as the economic, political, technological, and educational centre of the Henan province, located in central China. The city has been named one of the emerging megacities in China, and it is considered a major transportation hub for Central China.

The Melbourne-Zhengzhou service is delivered in partnership with local travel specialist, China Comfort Travel, which will sell flights and holiday packages directly to Chinese travellers.

Australia Comfort (subsidiary of China Comfort) General Manager Jun Yan said: “The opening of the new route from Zhengzhou to Melbourne, which is the first non-stop intercontinental passenger route to Australia in Henan Province, builds a direct bridge between the two cities.

“It will significantly promote the friendship and cultural exchanges between China and Australia,” Yan said.

Customers from Zhengzhou will be able to directly access 26 destinations through Jetstar’s extensive international and domestic network across Australia and New Zealand. Fares start from AUD$566 one way on the Melbourne to Zhengzhou services.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management