Sydney's weather didn't give it's best showing for the return of Hainan Airlines. But it was a great event, none-the-less!
HU7997 from Changsha arrived on time, hitting the approach pattern among the dozens of aircraft heading to YSSY at that time of day. As it neared Sydney, the aircraft banked left and entered the CBD airspace for a "must do" photo opportunity backed with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge - as any tourist would whilst coming to our fine land.
A sizeable group of local and Chinese media were on hand to capture the event airside, and the landing was picture perfect - Rwy 16R in use and dozens of camera's snapping away.
The A330-200 aircraft being used on the route accommodates up to 250 passengers, and will open the floodgates for up to 16,000 visitors each year, and an estimated $62 million in tourist dollars for NSW. This is coupled with the return of the Xi'an-Sydney route, which doubles the above numbers! - A huge boost for Chinese tourists looking to relax and shop down under, as well as the Australian travellers looking for adventure and history in China.
- Changsha Route: Arrives Sydney 6:35AM - Departs Sydney 8:20AM Tuesday & Saturday
- Xi'an Route: Arrives Sydney 6:35AM - Departs Sydney 8:20AM Thursday & Sunday
Interesting to know: In the year leading up to June 2016, Sydney welcomed over 639,000 tourists from China - which was a staggering 21% higher than the previous year. This intense growth in tourism from China shows no signs of slowing, and the new services from Hainan will cement those numbers even further. Sydney now has 6 Chinese airlines bringing tourists and business travellers from 12 cities across mainland China - A staggering figure!
Here's some photo's from within the media event.