In an historic day for the Territory, the first non-stop flight from China has arrived in Darwin.
The inaugural flight by Donghai Airlines was welcomed at Darwin International Airport this morning with a water cannon salute and a performance by the Chung Wah Society Lion Dance Troupe.
Donghai Airlines President, Mr Yang Jianhong, joined travel agents, Chinese media, celebrities and tourists on the first non-stop flight to Darwin from Shenzhen, China.
The new route is anticipated to bring thousands of new Chinese visitors to the Territory, and has the potential to deliver $32 million in new visitor expenditure each year, once the route reaches three flights per week at 80 per cent capacity.
Northern Territory Airports CEO, Ian Kew, said the launch of the non-stop air service to Shenzhen will provide immediate economic benefits to the Northern Territory.
“Donghai Airlines commitment to the non-stop air service has already created new jobs and business opportunities for NT residents. Additional catering and ground handling contracts have been awarded to local operators and the flight crew will be accommodated in Darwin hotels,” Mr Kew said.
As part of the inaugural flight, Tourism NT has kicked off a new campaign in Shenzhen, with the message: 北领地-澳洲'游'你才完整” - Your Australian journey is not complete without the Northern Territory and spectacular Northern Territory imagery highly visible around the city.
The campaign highlights the Territory’s uniqueness and ‘brag-ability’ factor to Chinese visitors and features the Territory's World Heritage-listed National Parks, accessible adventure and unspoiled landscapes.
Tourism NT is also working with key tourism distribution partners, to sell NT holidays to Chinese tourists on the back of the new flights.
The new Donghai Airlines 5 ½ hour non-stop flights from Shenzhen, China to Darwin depart and return on Wednesdays and Sundays.