SYDNEY, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Major Australian airline Jetstar announced Wednesday that it will launch a new direct flight service from the Chinese city of Zhengzhou to the Australian city of Melbourne, starting in December.
The new twice-weekly service plans to serve 35,000 Chinese travellers to Australia every year, and chief executive of Jetstar Jayne Hrdlicka told Xinhua in a statement that this route was designed with China's burgeoning middle class in mind.
"We are excited to provide a direct link from Melbourne to Zhengzhou in China, a city of more than 10 million people," Hrdlicka said.
"China is an incredibly important market for us and will continue to grow. Jetstar started flying to China just eight years ago, and we now operate 68 flights per week across Asia to 20 destinations in China."
The new routes were welcomed by the Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, who said that this will lead to "greater business and trade opportunities" for both nations.
Aside from the economic benefits the new flights will provide, Jun Yan, general manager of Australia Comfort said that the new routes between the capital of Victoria, and the capital city in Henan Province will "build a direct bridge between the two cities."
"It will significantly promote the friendship and cultural exchanges between China and Australia."
Chinese tourists in the state of Victoria spent over 2.6 billion Australian (2.05 U.S. billion) dollars last year, which made up 35 percent of the total tourism spend.