1 April 2015 © David Eyre
China Southern celebrated the first service to Australia by their Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner today, with the type replacing the Airbus A330-200 on Perth services.
China Southern has ten Boeing 787-8s in its fleet, and is the fourth airline to use Boeing 787s on services to Perth, joining Air New Zealand, Thai Airways and Scoot.
B-2732 (MSN 34926/93) operated flight CZ319, which departed Guangzhou at 10:37pm (42 mins late) local time on 31 March 2015. The aircraft made up time en route, arriving at Perth the next morning on 1 April 2015, landing on runway 21 at 5:58am after a flight of 7 hours 21 minutes.
As the aircraft taxied in on Taxiway T, it was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute. It then accidentally taxied past the bay and had to taxy back out on taxiway S, left onto taxiway C2 and back in via Taxiway T, to park at Bay 52 at 6.12am.
The return flight CZ320 back to Guangzhou took off Perth’s runway 21 at 08:45am and arrived at its destination at 4:35pm local time, a flight of 7 hours 49 minutes.
China Southern will add a fourth weekly service from 16 July 2015, and is changing schedule timings to include morning and night arrivals and departures at Perth, enabling faster connections to Europe and the USA. Schedule will be as follows:
- Until 12 JUL 2015: Wed/Fri/Sun: CZ319 arrives Perth at 0600 / CZ320 departs Perth at 0830.
- From 15 JUL 2015:
- Tue & Fri: CZ319 arrives Perth 2150 / CZ320 departs Perth at 2330.
- Thu & Sun: CZ319 arrives Perth at 0600 / CZ320 departs Perth at 0830.
The airline first commenced services to Perth on 9 November 2011 on the Guangzhou – Perth route, which operated three times per week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings.
Aircraft types used on the route have changed as follows (dates are arrival dates in Perth):
- Airbus A330-300 (9 November 2011 – 1 April 2013): 287 passengers (4 First Class, 24 Business Class, 48 Premium Economy, 211 Economy seats).
- Airbus A330-200 (3 April 2013 – March 2015): 218 passengers (4 First Class, 24 Business Class, 48 Premium Economy, 142 Economy seats).
- Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (1 April 2015 onwards): 228 passengers (4 First Class, 24 Business Class, 200 Economy).
WA provides about 70% of Australia’s exports to China. In 2011, when China Southern commenced services to Perth, China was ranked as the 12th largest source of international visitors for WA, but in 2014 Chinese tourist visitors had increased 63% to 6th place (3rd biggest in terms of money spent).
China Southern is the world’s 6th largest airline measured by passengers carried. It also operates to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
China Southern has had links to Western Australia since 1993, when it started the China Southern WA Flying College, with bases at Jandakot and Merredin. The College trains 200 pilots, engineers and support staff each year.