Qantas’s new service between Sydney and Beijing took off today, marking the carrier’s third destination in China after Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The Australian carrier announced the return of the route – which was axed back in 2009 due to dwindling passenger numbers – in October last year.

The new 12-hour flight will run daily operated by a 235-seat Airbus A330-200, with the Sydney leg of the journey timed to coincide with Qantas’s domestic routes to Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart along with its New Zealand services.

“It’s the perfect time for Qantas to fly to Beijing,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is hitting its stride and China is on track to become the number one source of visitors to Australia within the next year or so.

“For Chinese travellers, our message is that there’s no better way of getting to know Australia than with the national carrier. In the business market, this route gives our companies the ability to win new business and get their products and services into the market.”

The Sydney-Beijing route follows earlier developments with its Asia-Pacific network, including the launch of its Tokyo service and the extension of its Denpasar service from seasonal to year-round.

In December last year, the carrier also announced it would be deploying its first Dreamliner aircraft on its six-times-weekly service between Melbourne and Los Angeles, along with launching its ultra-long-haul 17-hour direct flights between Perth and London.

Details of the new Beijing service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
QF107 Sydney Beijing 1350 2240 Daily
QF108 Beijing Sydney 0015 1455 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat
0020 Thu, Sun