Hong Kong Airlines has boosted its Gold Coast-Hong Kong service for the Chinese New Year period to cater for the expected increase in Chinese visitors to the city.
Five direct services between the two destinations have been added to the existing five times per week schedule, starting late January week and running until the end of this month.
The number of visitors from China coming through Gold Coast Airport (GCA) for Chinese New Year this year is expected to hit almost 10,000 passengers – an increase of 3.8 per cent on the year before.
GCA Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the additional passengers would receive a warm welcome.
“Visitors will be given a warm Australian welcome on arrival to the Gold Coast, with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Blinky Bill visiting the terminal on the day of Chinese New Year – 15 February 2018,” she said.
“Strong demand for the current services have prompted Hong Kong Airlines to increase their capacity over this period, which demonstrates the airline’s ongoing confidence and commitment to our region,” Ms Charlton said.
“Current passenger forecasts for Chinese groups show a 3.8 per cent increase to 9,634 on last year’s Chinese New Year period.
“We are seeing nearly 80 per cent of the Chinese group travellers originating from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Zhejiang.
“We are looking forward to celebrating yet another Chinese New Year in 2018, followed by what will be an extremely busy first half of the year.
“After Chinese New Year, we have Easter, school holidays and The Byron Bay Bluesfest at the end of March, the Commonwealth Games in April, New Zealand school holidays at the end of April, and then of course the Gold Coast Marathon in July.”
Ms Charlton said the airport was keen to increase connectivity between the Gold Coast and China.
“GCA has a dedicated team focused on developing the Chinese market,” she said.
“Our Business Development and Marketing department work closely with our Chinese Business Liaison Manager to actively explore opportunities to increase connectivity to China.
“We also ensure frontline staff in the terminal receive customer service training so that they are well equipped to meet and greet Chinese travellers as they enter the Gold Coast.”
The Gold Coast-Hong Kong route became a permanent, year-round service in April 2016 after a series of successful seasonal charter services.
Hong Kong connects the Gold Coast with Chinese growth markets including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Taipei.