New Airbus of China Southern Airlines to Sydney Launched

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | October 30, 2013 4:54 PM EST

File photo of Airbus employees posing next to an aircraft during a hand-over ceremony in Hamburg, July 28, 2008. Germany should pay the remaining 600 million euros of a disputed development loan for Airbus's A350 passenger plane now the aircraft maker has allocated work to German employees, an Airbus executive said October 26, 2013. The German government had demanded that Airbus guarantee a certain amount of the work on the lightweight A350 plane would be done in Germany as a condition for paying out the remaining part of the loan. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/Files 

Frequent fliers of China Southern Airlines to Sydney now has another reason to commute via the Chinese airliner with the launch of its Airbus A380.

The 502-seater superjumbo will replace the airlines' CZ326 A330 daily service. It will still continue to fly connect to Sydney via Guangzhou, the airline's hub.

"We've been overhauling our regional operations this year with modern Airbus airliners deployed to every Australian port, and the arrival of the A380 on our Guangzhou to Sydney route marks the culmination of these efforts to become a bigger player on the Australian aviation scene," Henry He, China Southern Airlines' regional general manager, said.

Sydney received the airliner's first Airbus A380 on Monday at 9.15am (AEDT).

"Australia remains our most important overseas market and by putting the largest commercial passenger aircraft in the world on our busy Sydney to Guangzhou service we hope that we are showing this market how committed we are," Mr He said.

The new flight service, according to Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport chief executive officer, will bring in an estimated additional 160,000 passenger seats per year.

"Chinese passengers are consistently our highest growing passenger group - with annual growth averaging almost 14 per cent over the past four years - and last year became our second largest international passenger group,'' she said.

In 2012, a total of 400,000 Chinese residents visited Sydney.

"China provides a huge tourism opportunity for Sydney and it's essential that we're well placed to serve this important market," Ms Mather said.

Andrew Stoner, New South Wales Deputy Premier, was likewise excited on the potential economic boost the new service could bring into the region.

"This daily A380 air service, we expect will generate up to 5000 jobs here in NSW and contribute around $390 million to the Australian economy, each and every year," Mr Stoner said.

"China now ranks as the largest international contributor of visitor nights and expenditure for NSW," he added.

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