Chinese airline and SkyTeam alliance member XiamenAir is eyeing Sydney as its newest international destination with non-stop flights from Fuzhou planned from October.
World Civil Aviation Resource Net reports that XiamenAir’s Sydney flights would run daily from October 25 2015 in each direction, with the airline having filed for regulatory approval with the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Sydney Airport already boasts non-stop flights to Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Chongqing across airlines Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Qantas and Sichuan Airlines, making Fuzhou the city’s sixth non-stop destination in mainland China.
Using its Boeing 787 aircraft, XiamenAir would offer guests four first class suites in a 1-2-1 layout: extending to 198cm when in bed mode and providing a 15.4-inch touchscreen inflight entertainment system for each passenger…
… 18 fully-flat beds in business class, arranged across three rows in groups of two and with a smaller 14-inch screen…
… and 215 seats in economy with a generous 33 inches of space from headrest to headrest (known as ‘pitch’), with the seats in a 3-3-3 layout.
Passengers at the pointy end along with SkyTeam Elite Plus frequent flyers will enjoy access to the SkyTeam Lounge at Sydney Airport before their departure (below), and to a XiamenAir lounge in Fuzhou when returning home.
XiamenAir’s Sydney flights are not yet available for sale, although frequent flyers tempted by a Fuzhou trip can get in early and request a SkyTeam Elite Plus status match via XiamenAir alliance partner Alitalia.
All you’ll need is a current Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card from a non-SkyTeam airline – including Qantas and Virgin Australia – and a shiny SkyTeam card be yours: offering lounge access, priority check-in and priority boarding on every SkyTeam flight, even when booked in economy.
Australia’s own Jetstar is too launching its own Boeing 787 flights to China come September with non-stop service to Wuhan from the Gold Coast, while Air China is ramping up its Sydney-Beijing flights from November and also plans to launch first class on its Melbourne flights.
Australian Business Traveller