China Southern Airlines has applied for permission to launch direct flights between Shenzhen and Melbourne.
If approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the new route could launch as early as September 2016.
The carrier plans to serve the Shenzhen-Melbourne route daily using an Airbus A330, Boeing 787 or B777 aircraft. This will mark China Southern’s second Australian route from Shenzhen, following the launch of flights to Sydney earlier this year.
And China Southern is likely to face competition on the Shenzhen-Melbourne sector; Air China is also planning to launch a daily flight on the same route in October 2016.
Currently four mainland Chinese airlines operate flights to Melbourne, with Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Sichuan Airlines connecting the Australian city with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu respectively. And three more Chinese carriers, Xiamen Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Capital Airlines, are also planning to fly to Melbourne in future.