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Air China will suspend its four-times-a-week Beijing-Brisbane service from the end of next month, due to what it calls an “aircraft rotation issue”.
The route was announced with much fanfare less than a year ago, following a funding deal between the airline, the Queensland Government, Brisbane Marketing and Tourism Australia.
The dollar-for-dollar marketing deal was designed to promote Australia in China, in an effort to fill seats on the route.
Since December, an estimated 35,000 people have flown into Brisbane on the service, using A330-200 aircraft that carry a maximum 226 passengers.
But from August 24 the service will be suspended until December 31, with Air China indicating the aircraft is needed elsewhere.
Air China flights will resume four times a week on January 1, 2019, before being reduced to three-times a week from March 4.
Anyone with tickets for travel in the period from August 24, can get a refund without the usual cancellation fee.
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the investment made in the service to date had not been wasted, given the funds were “only used to grow the profile of Queensland and Australia in China”.
“This service was secured in partnership with the Turnbull Government through Tourism Australia and also with Brisbane Marketing,” Ms Jones said.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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