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Jetstar announces new Melbourne to Zhengzhou flight route

More travel for both business and leisure purposes will be able to take place between Australia and China thanks to the upcoming launch of a new flight route between Melbourne and Zhengzhou.

Jetstar will be operating flights to the central Henan Chinese province twice a week from December onwards, which it is hoped will help to create stronger business and tourism links between the two Asia-Pacific nations.

The launch of the new route later this year will add an extra 70,000 seats to journeys from down under to China, which is anticipated to lead to an additional 35,000 Chinese visitors being able to travel to Australia annually.

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be used for the Melbourne-Zhengzhou route, with fares set to start from $566 for a one-way flight.

As Jetstar is the lower-cost subsidiary of Australia's flagship airline Qantas International, it is thought that the new route will provide a more affordable opportunity for passengers to fly between the two countries.

Jayne Hrdlicka, chief executive of the Jetstar Group, commented: "China already accounts for the largest source of tourism in Victoria and by 2020 it's predicted that China will overtake New Zealand to be Australia's largest tourism market.

"We know that Chinese travellers generally visit two or three cities when they visit Australia, so we expect this will boost tourism to other parts."

Zhengzhou is one of China's major business hubs, with a particular focus on transportation. More than ten million people live there and it has a growing middle class, who Australia hopes to attract down under for business investment opportunities, as well as leisure trips.

Jetstar passengers are already able to fly from Australia to seven airports across China since the brand launched there some eight years ago. Currently, around 68 flights operate between the two nations each week.

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