Brisvegas to Beijing
December 11 sees the launch of a direct route between Brisbane and Beijing by Air China (Star Alliance).
The Queensland State Government has been keen to build a business, trade and tourism relationship with China, hence the announcement today.
This joins the daily China Eastern (a Qantas partner) service between Brisbane and Shanghai.
A bunch of government and semi-government bodies are keen to see more of these relationships evolve, having set up a fund for these initiatives. Consortium Members include Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), Brisbane Marketing, Gold Coast Tourism, Tourism Events Queensland, Tourism Whitsundays and Tourism Australia amongst others. According to Julieanne Alroe, BAC CEO:
“Quite simply, these new services would not have been secured without the financial support provided by the State Government and matching funds from industry partners.”
The advantage for Brisbanites is using Beijing as a hub to other continents, as the BAC Media Release outlines:
Air China is one of the few airlines to operate to all six inhabited continents. Via Beijing, Brisbane travellers will be able to travel on Air China to 18 points in Europe, nine points in North America, and almost anywhere in China and Asia on their comprehensive network.
Only 4 times a week
The service will only operate four times per week: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, using an A330-200 aircraft with 28 business, and 198 economy seats(although I can’t find a seating plan that shows this configuration). Flights depart Brisbane at 7:30 pm, and arrive from Beijing at 3:10 in the afternoon.
2-2-2 flat-bed seats
The good news for business travellers is that they will be flat-bed seats. The bad news is that they are 2-2-2 – so the window seats don’t have direct aisle seats. You will, however, be able to take advantage of China’s 72-hour visa-free service in Beijing for a stopover.
Let’s hope that given Air China’s service and the hardly cutting edge seat product – the flights will be priced accordingly.