The Territory’s first-ever direct air service from China is starting to achieve results, bringing more Chinese visitors here and delivering significant flow-on benefits into the economy.
Performance highlights include:
- From 30 May to the end of September 2018, Donghai Airlines has carried 2,918 passengers.
- 56%, or 1,647 passengers were on inbound flights into Darwin. Assuming 90% of these travellers were Chinese, and using an average spend of $1,638 per Chinese visitor, these flights have brought $2.43 million in new visitor expenditure into the Territory – this is additional money that would not be coming into the Territory economy if not for these flights.
- During the first five months of services, Donghai Airlines has spent over $500,000 in staff accommodation and services, ground handling and fuel in Darwin. This is further new money into the local economy.
- Donghai Airlines started on 30 May 2018, with a two per week service, increased flights to three per week during the month of August 2018 and had an extra flight on 1 October 2018 as these aligned with peak holiday periods in China.
While it will take time to build sustainable demand for direct travel between China and Darwin, early signs from the Donghai service are positive. Tourism NT is supporting the service with investment in inbound tourism marketing activities.
In market activity undertaken in Darwin by NT Airports to build outbound travel has included an airfreight seminar, travel agent familiarisation and sponsorship of various charities, business events and radio competitions.
The Chinese New Year (CNY) period (normally in February) is a peak period of inbound activity to Australia. Similarly to the national trend, Chinese arrivals into Darwin for CNY 2019 are expected to swell and provide a welcome boost to the city during what is traditionally a quieter time for tourism operators.
Source: NT Government