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Sichuan Airlines to launch Chengdu-Melbourne route

Sichuan Airlines to launch Chengdu-Melbourne route

Sichuan Airlines will offer direct flights between Chengdu and Melbourne starting from Feb. 28.

It will be the first non-stop flights connecting western China with Australia, the airline said in a statement on Monday.

The carrier is scheduled to fly on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. A one-way trip is about 4,800 nautical miles and takes about 10 and a half hours, it said.

The airline estimates it will carry more than 70,000 passengers between the two cities annually as Australia witnesses a tourism boom from Chinese travelers.

China has overtaken the UK to become Australia's second biggest market in tourism behind New Zealand, according to a Tourism Research Australia survey released in December.

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