Qantas Launches Flights to Beijing

Sydney, 09 January 2006

Qantas today commenced non-stop services from Sydney to Beijing.

Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti said Qantas would initially operate three flights a week to Beijing and expected to offer daily flights to both Beijing and Shanghai within two years.

"We are delighted to return to Beijing, one of the world's great cities and host to the 2008 Olympic Games," Mr Borghetti said.

"China, one of the fastest growing travel markets in the world, is an increasingly important destination for Qantas," Mr Borghetti said.

"The total travel market between Australia and China has grown by 22 per cent in the past year.

"We believe the growing trade relationship between the two countries, increasing demand for leisure travel in both directions and the growing number of Chinese students attending schools and universities in Australia will see the market continue to grow strongly in the years ahead," he said.

Mr Borghetti said that with the new Beijing services, Qantas now offered daily non-stop flights to China - four to Shanghai and three to Beijing.

"In addition to our non-stop services to China, the Qantas Group currently operates 31 flights a week to Hong Kong," Mr Borghetti said.

"This means Qantas passengers can access destinations throughout China via Hong Kong, or by connecting with local carriers in either Beijing or Shanghai."

The new Beijing services are timed to suit customers connecting to cities throughout Australia and New Zealand. Qantas also codeshares on China Eastern services between Sydney and Shanghai (three times a week) to provide a daily link to Shanghai for Qantas customers.

Mr Borghetti said Qantas' new two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft would operate on all flights to China, providing:

* Qantas' award-winning Skybed sleeper seat in Business Class;
* on-demand audio and video entertainment - including a Mandarin selection - in Business and Economy, accessed by personal video screens;
* a choice of Western-style meals or Northern Chinese cuisine and refreshments; and
* service by English- and Mandarin-speaking Australian and Chinese cabin crew.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3377)