The Northern Territory and China will be connected by non-stop flights for the first time after it was announced that Donghai Airlines would commence services between Darwin and Shenzhen from 30 May 2018.
In a statement, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the new service would revolutionise the territory’s economy – and that’s not to mention outbound tourism to China and beyond.
“We have worked incredibly hard to bring this new route to fruition, with forecasts suggesting a potential $32 million increase in visitor expenditure adding significant value to the local economy in Darwin and across the NT,” Mr Gunner said.
“Donghai’s direct Shenzhen to Darwin service will provide a significant economic injection into our tourism, retail and hospitality sectors, which will create jobs as well as open up exciting new business and trade links.
“We know that travellers from China spend more on average than other visitors so it is an important and lucrative market.
“Shenzhen, with a population of more than 14 million people, is considered China’s ‘Silicon Valley’, so there is also enormous potential to establish new business and trade links.”
Donghai Airlines President Yang Jianhong said the carrier would utilise a new Boeing 737-800 on the route, before upgrading to a new B737 MAX 8.
Operating twice per week, on Wednesdays and Fridays from Shenzhen to Darwin and return, the flights will arrive into Darwin at 8:40am and depart at 5:25pm.
A three times weekly service will operate during peak periods and as demand grows.
Tickets ex-Darwin will go on sale by the end of April.