Qantas to Fly to Beijing

Sydney, 29 June 2005

Qantas today announced it would begin flying between Sydney and Beijing from 9 January 2006.

Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti said Qantas would initially operate three weekly services 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.

"Beijing will be an important destination for the Qantas network and these three weekly services, coupled with the start of a fourth Sydney-Shanghai service in November, will provide our customers with daily non-stop flights to China," he said.

"Travel between China and Australia has increased more than 40 per cent in the past three years and is expected to grow a further 20 per cent in the next 12 months.

"Within two years we expect to offer daily Qantas flights to both Beijing and Shanghai in response to the growing trade relationship between Australia and China and increasing demand for leisure travel in both directions.

"In addition, the Qantas Group currently operates 31 flights each week to Hong Kong," Mr Borghetti said. "This means Qantas passengers can access the rest of China via Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and make connections with local carriers."

Qantas will continue to codeshare on China Eastern services between Sydney and Shanghai to provide a daily link for Qantas customers.

Mr Borghetti said Qantas' new two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft would operate on all flights to China, allowing Business Class customers to experience the award-winning Skybed.

The new Beijing services are timed to suit customers connecting to and from Australian cities and New Zealand.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3289)