Direct flights between China and Darwin running under capacity, figures show

Posted December 06, 2018 07:43:26

International flights between the “Silicon Valley” of China, Shenzhen, and Darwin are less than half full, four months after the direct link began, new figures reveal.

Key points: In September, more people flew from Australia to Nauru than Shenzhen NT Government asked to explain how much money it has spent “propping up” the deal Freight services could be more fruitful than tourism, academic says

The statistics report, published by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, shows that in September, just 382 passengers flew inbound to Darwin on Donghai Airlines — or 44 per cent of capacity — while 237 passengers flew outbound, equating to just 27 per cent of capacity.

That month, more people flew between Australia and tiny Pacific nations like Nauru, Western Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

The flights began at the end of May, and were billed as a tourism coup for the Northern Territory.

The NT Government is hoping the flights will help it meet and exceed a target of 30,000 visitors from China per year by 2020.