Celebrating the arrival of China Eastern in Sydney were the airport's Max Moore-Wilton; China Eastern's Shengji BA, Vice Chairman; Kathy Zhang, GM Oceania; and Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport's CEO.
- China Eastern Airlines continues its Australian expansion with the thrice-weekly flights from Nanjing (NKG) to Sydney (SYD), which it launched on 21 December. Operating with 298-seat Airbus A330-300, the airline is the first to connect Australia with this historic Chinese city located 300km west of Shanghai. Sydney Airport’s CEO, Kerrie Mather, said: “Earlier this year, China overtook the US to become our second largest inbound nationality market, second to only New Zealand and we want to show that we are ‘China-ready”. The carrier also expanded its international network from Kunming (KMG) hub in southwest China, from where, on 28 and 29 December respectively, it commenced flights to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi (HAN) and the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh (PNH). Offering two weekly frequencies on each route, China Eastern is the solo carrier in both markets. In addition, the airline launched two domestic routes. On 27 December, it stepped into the previously un-served Hefei (HFE) to Yinchuan (INC) market. The carrier now offers thrice-weekly departures from this eastern city to the capital of autonomous region Ningxia Hui with a stopover in Xi’an (XIY). On 1 January it then inaugurated seven-weekly flights from Chengdu (CTU) in the southwest of the country to the north-eastern city Changchun (CGQ), competing with Air China’s five-weekly frequencies.