Return of Sichuan Airlines Marks Full Recovery of 8 Chinese Carriers

Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Sydney Airport has welcomed back Sichuan Airlines, with flight 3U3883 from Chengdu touching down this afternoon.

The airline’s inaugural flight into Sydney Airport was in December 2013, with services pausing from early February 2020, when Covid travel restrictions began in China.

Sichuan Airlines is the final of the 8 Chinese airlines to resume services to Sydney since China began lifting Covid travel restrictions in January.

At the start of the year, there were just three Chinese Airlines flying a total of four return services between Sydney Airport and mainland China.

From November, eight Chinese Airlines and Qantas will have a total of 85 return services a week between Sydney and mainland China.

Sichuan Airlines is the only carrier offering direct flights between Sydney and Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province in southwestern China.

The city of Chengdu is the fourth largest by population in China and a strategic economic and financial hub in the region. It’s a popular tourist destination, renowned as the home of the giant pandas and for its natural beauty and spicy hotpot cuisine.

The airline is currently running three weekly return services, increasing to five per week from November 19.

Geoff Culbert, Sydney Airport CEO, said: “A decade ago Sichuan Airlines first flew into Sydney Airport, and to welcome them back again after an almost four-year break due to the pandemic marks an important milestone in our recovery journey.”

“The return of Sichuan Airlines comes at a time when capacity to China is nearing pre-Covid levels, something that seemed impossible at the start of the year.

“We started the year with very few flights from China, but by November we’ll be 86 per cent recovered, with more flights coming online in the coming months.

“The pace at which this market has returned has exceeded our expectations and will play a crucial role in supporting the recovery of tourism, business and student travel and the broader New South Wales economy.”

Mr. Deyun Wu, General Manager of Commercial Committee, Sichuan Airlines said: “We are so excited to open up the Chengdu to Sydney route and proud to welcome Australians to the home of the giant panda.”

“Chengdu is a city that offers visitors unique cultural experiences and natural wonders, from sacred mountains and bamboo forests to spicy Sichuan cuisine and tranquil teahouses.”

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