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Dec 13rd, 2016, Adelaide China Southern Airlines and Tourism Australia have deepened their commercial relationship, signing a new partnership agreement that will accelerate their existing marketing activities in China.

The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today in Adelaide by China Southern Airlines Director General, Commercial Steering Committee Guo Jianye and Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan. The signing was witnessed by China Southern Airlines President and CEO Tan Wan Geng and Tourism Australia Chairman Tony South.

The ceremony took place just hours after the arrival at Adelaide Airport of China Southern Airlines flight CZ663 from Guangzhou, the first direct commercial passenger flight between China and South Australia.

As part of the new deal, funding will go towards a range of campaigns and joint promotional activities, targeting Australia’s most valuable inbound market currently delivering close to 1.2m visitor arrivals and worth A$9 billion a year.

President Tan said that he had great confidence in the Australian market.

“Australia is a market we value highly and a market where we still see opportunities to expand our operations further, as demonstrated by our decision to add Adelaide to our global network,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan said that building a strong relationship with China Southern Airlines had been a top priority for Tourism Australia since its long-term, strategic plan for China was unveiled in 2010.

“China Southern continues to invest significantly in its Australian network and in Australian tourism. The airline now carries a fifth of all Chinese arrivals into Australia, more than any other international carrier. As we approach 2017, the designated ‘Australia-China Year of Tourism’, we look forward to building upon this important partnership,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

In 2015, China Southern Airlines carried 866,000 passengers in the China-Australia market, accounting for more than 30% of market share. With the successful launch of the Guangzhou-Adelaide air service, China Southern currently operates 112 weekly flights between China and Australia in both directions, covering major metropolitan cities in Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and now Adelaide and well positioned as the largest air carrier from mainland China to Australia.