Premier engages in positive discussions with China Eastern Airlines Chairman during visit to Shanghai
- Chairman Liu Shaoyong expresses desire to trial direct flights between Shanghai and Perth during the positive meeting
- Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown joined the Premier in the meeting in Shanghai yesterday
A trial of direct flights between Shanghai and Perth is a real possibility following a successful meeting between Premier Mark McGowan and the Chairman of China Eastern Airlines.
The meeting in Shanghai yesterday (November 14) resulted in China Eastern Airlines indicating a trial of direct flights could begin as early as October next year.
Currently China Eastern only flies to Eastern States cities and the McGowan Government has engaged in a high level push to secure direct flights to Perth, in an effort to increase visitation, boost Western Australia's economy and create jobs.
China Eastern Airlines is globally the seventh biggest airline, with Chairman Liu Shaoyong expressing confidence in Western Australia as a future growth market for the major airline.
Mr McGowan and Mr Papalia have now arrived in Japan as part of the official mission, to continue trade discussions in an effort to secure direct flights between Japan and Perth.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This meeting was aimed at strengthening our relationship with China Eastern Airlines to work towards getting direct flights between Perth and Shanghai.
"Our discussions were extremely positive and I'm thrilled at the prospect of having direct flights, and what it will do for WA's economy.
"The Chairman explained that once trial flights became a reality, a commercial analysis by the company would be completed before a final decision is made for ongoing flights.
"I personally guaranteed the Chairman, I would be on the first China Eastern flight out of Perth."
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"The McGowan Government has taken tourism seriously since we were first elected, and we've made it clear that direct flights are crucial to boost visitation to our State and create new jobs.
"Direct flights between Shanghai and Perth are a game changer for Perth and our tourism industry.
"Just the potential of this trial is something that will be warmly received by our local tourism operators."