SkyTeam alliance member China Southern Airlines will begin non-stop Melbourne-Shenzhen flights on June 1 2017: less than three weeks before competitor Air China launches its own service on the same route.
Initially, China Southern’s flights will run twice per week in each direction, growing to three flights per week in July.
Using an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, high flyers can relax in one of just four first class suites in the very front row…
… with 24 business class seats further back in a 2-2-2 configuration:
The first six rows of economy are also badged as ‘premium economy’ – being a standard economy seat and service but with five inches of extra legroom, elevating the pitch from 32 to 37 inches for the 48 travellers seated across the typical 2-4-2 layout…
… while regular economy looks much the same, tapering to a 2-3-2 seating pattern at the rear of the cabin.
From June 1, flight CZ3073 is wheels-up in Shenzhen at 7:05pm on Thursdays and Saturdays – plus Mondays from July 3 – reaching Melbourne at 6:20am the following morning.
Out of Melbourne, CZ3074 takes to the skies at 8am on Fridays and Sundays from June 2 and on Tuesdays as well from July 4, touching down in Shenzhen at 3:35pm later that day, with flights now on sale via travel agents and the China Southern website:
Air China originally planned to launch its own Melbourne-Shenzhen flights in October 2016, but subsequently delayed their debut to January 2017 and then withdrew from the route before its flights had even begun.
Earlier this month, Air China affirmed that it would offer three flights per week between Melbourne and Shenzhen from June 20 2017, with competitor China Southern taking first honours with its own launch three weeks sooner.