SkyTeam member China Eastern Airlines will launch a seasonal direct service between Perth (PER) and Shanghai Pudong International airport (PVG) over Chinese New Year celebrating the Year of the Dragon.

The nonstop Airbus A330-200 service will operate three times a week for a four-week period between 20 January and 18 February 2024.

Perth airport acting chief executive officer, Kate Holsgrove, said the service gives Western Australians a perfect opportunity to experience Chinese New Year celebrations in Shanghai.

“We are delighted to see China Eastern Airlines back in Perth adding more seats to the market during this busy holiday period,” said Holsgrove.

China Eastern Airlines launched a trial service between Perth and Shanghai in January 2020 – which was suspended once Covid hit.

“Back in 2019, Western Australia catered for 67,000 Chinese visitors who spent A$283 million in our economy – including our important tourism and retail businesses.

With the impact of Covid and no current direct flights to mainland China this has dropped to 19,000 visitors who spent A$78 million in visitor expenditure – this drop shows how important the Chinese visitor market is to Western Australia.

“A direct aviation connection to China offers great potential for both tourism and business in Western Australia,” said Holsgrove.

“We look forward to building a strong partnership with China Eastern Airlines to ensure the success of this service so we can look for other opportunities with this important airline partner.”

The airline will operate the service on an A330-200 which has 232 seats – 30 in 1-2-1 configured lie-flat business class, and 202 in 2-4-2 configured economy class.

Flights MU7389 and MU7390 will operate on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving into Perth at 1000 and departing at 1230, subject to regulatory approvals.