Qantas Shanghai Flights Prepare for Take Off

MELBOURNE, 31 May 2004

Qantas said today it would begin flying between Australia and Shanghai from 2 December with three non-stop services from Sydney with an international connection from Melbourne.

The Executive General Manager of Qantas Airlines, John Borghetti, said the resumption of flights to Shanghai coincided with Qantas' 55th anniversary of services to Hong Kong.

"The new services to Shanghai will provide a real boost to business travel and tourism in both China and Australia."

Mr Borghetti said the airline's new two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft, fitted with the award-winning sleeper seat Skybed, would operate services to Shanghai on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Flying time is 10 hours and northbound flights depart in the morning and arrive in the evening, while southbound flights depart at night and arrive in the morning.

"Over the last three years we have seen a steady growth in inbound and outbound travel for both Australia and China," Mr Borghetti said. "In particular, demand for business travel between our two countries has grown by more than 30 per cent.

"Australia continues to be a popular destination for holidays and our secondary and tertiary institutions attract a high percentage of students from China.

"We have also seen a growing number of Australian residents travelling to mainland China to visit friends and relatives."

Qantas also currently operates 28 flights per week to Hong Kong, and has applied to the International Air Services Commission for the right to operate three Boeing 747-400 services via Hong Kong to the United Kingdom.

Qantas also recently announced it would commence non-stop services from Australia to Mumbai in India in September. These services will operate three times per week from Sydney, subject to Government approval.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3095)