Air China offers express customs clearance in Australia

6 May 2011

Growing trade links between Australia and China have helped ease arrival procedures for the Mainland business travellers. A new service, launched by Air China, is an express customs clearance lane for its premium passengers and higher tier frequent fliers.

Business class passengers and Platinum members of the Phoenix Miles club will receive an express customs clearance card onboard flights to Sydney and Melbourne, enabling them to skip long queues at security and customs at those two airports.

According to Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum, China provided Australia with 77,700 tourists in February – the largest number of international tourists that month. For Sydney alone, China is the third largest market for inbound tourists. Kerry Mather, chief executive of MAp Airports (which owns the Sydney hub), said: “China is now the airport’s third largest market, with approximately 200,000 Chinese visitors arriving through Sydney Airport during the first quarter of this year.”

This positive development has been facilitated by an enhanced bilateral air traffic agreement, negotiated last year, allowing 59 flights per week between the two countries. Other carriers that fly between China and Australia are China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and, more recently, Hainan Airlines (see story here). However, none of these carriers are offering similar express customs clearance services.

For more information, visit

Alisha Haridasani

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