Western Australia is poised to welcome more visitors from key Asian markets, with figures from Perth Airport revealing more than 500,000 new seats into the Perth market have been announced over the past 12 months.
A number of direct flights from key Asian markets were announced, or began, in 2019 including All Nippon Airways (ANA) direct flights between Tokyo and Perth, which started in September 2019; the China Eastern Airlines direct seasonal trial flights to Shanghai, which starts this week; and the Philippine Airlines direct flights to Manila starting March 30, 2020.
Philippine Airlines will fly direct from Manila to Perth four times a week adding an additional 70,000 seats into the market while the ANA service has added more than 134,000 seats.
According to Perth Airport, if China Eastern Airlines commits to a regular service it could mean an additional $40 million in visitor spend.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia is currently leading a WA delegation in China where he is meeting with China Eastern Airlines to discuss the opportunity for the trial flights between Shanghai and Perth to become an ongoing service.
The trial flights, which are a partnership between Tourism Western Australia, Perth Airport, Tourism Australia and China Eastern Airlines will start January 15 and run until February 17, 2020 and consist of three flights a week for five weeks over the peak Chinese New Year period.
While in Shanghai, Minister Papalia will open Fortescue Metals Group’s new Shanghai office which will strengthen ties between the two cities.
The Minister will also host an industry forum with travel agents and trade media to promote Perth as a desirable destination and raise awareness of the trial flights.
The delegation will also meet with the Shanghai Greenland Shenhua Football Club, with the team set to travel to Perth for the AFC Champions League match against Perth Glory on Tuesday February 11, 2020.
The Minister and his delegation will fly back to Perth on the inaugural China Eastern Airlines trial flight from Shanghai, early on Wednesday morning, and be welcomed by Premier Mark McGowan at Perth Airport.
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“In 2019 we had a record number of people travelling to our State and they spent more money than ever before.
“The McGowan Government is committed to further growing the State’s tourism industry and increasing the number of people who visit Western Australia – securing new direct air routes and growing capacity will help achieve this goal.
“It is great news that in 2020 we are welcoming new seats into Perth and if we are successful in securing a regular service between Shanghai and Perth, that number will grow even further.
“Last financial year, international holiday visitors were the highest on record for WA, with the number of holiday visitors increasing by 12.8 per cent to 506,300 – the strongest growth rate of all of Australia’s States and Territories.”