China Eastern Airlines to fly Sydney-Kunming in November

By Chris C., October 24 2016
China Eastern Airlines to fly Sydney-Kunming in November

SkyTeam alliance member China Eastern Airlines will launch new non-stop Sydney-Kunming flights on November 26.

Using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with both business class and economy, the airline will fly three times a week in each direction, departing both cities on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

From Sydney, flight MU778 is wheels-up at 8:50pm for an early 5am arrival in Kunming the following morning, while the return flight, MU777, takes to the skies at 12:50am local time in China, reaching Sydney at 2:45pm.

“This marks a new route for Sydney Airport and reinforces our position as the world’s leading airport for Chinese long haul airlines, with 13 routes between Sydney and mainland China,” said Sydney Airport MD and CEO Kerrie Mather.

“Kunming is also an inviting destination for Sydneysiders to visit, with attractions including the Lijiang Ancient City and Honghe Hani Terraces, as well as being a gateway to South East Asian countries including Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia,” Mather adds.

Less than two weeks prior to the Kunming launch, China Eastern will also kick off new Sydney-Hangzhou-Beijing flights alongside the airline’s existing Sydney-Shanghai and Sydney-Nanjing-Beijing routes.

The Qantas partner will too resume Brisbane-Shanghai services in December on a year-round basis and has plans to launch Sydney-Wuhan-Xi'an flights by the year's end.

Also read: Flying to secondary cities in China: your non-stop options explained

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Does anyone wonder about the profitability of these new routes from China? Sure these companies run off a system of near monopoly with the Chinese government limiting the rights to operate any given international city-pairs to only one Chinese carrier. But is expansion of routes based on sound commercial decisions or an exercise in the projection of soft power?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2015

Total posts 150

A bit of both I think, but mostly based on the big influx of Chinese tourists from secondary cities into Australia.

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

In day to day operations mot operate at a loss but airports and local governments in China offer large incentives for new international routes which help them break even. Chinese airlines also like to snap up new routes before another airline does because come 5-10 years or so most routes become profitable. The growth in the market is massive, within the next 12 markets it will become Australias largest inbound market and shows no sign of stopping with 20% growth at both MEL and SYD. 

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

in the next 12 months* 

15 Nov 2012

Total posts 13

Everything in China is government policy driven and this is no exception. There must have been a policy at a central government level to "agressively develop international air routes". The exponential growth in the number of routes out of China to Australia is no coincidence, and definitely not purely route-profit driven. Don't forget all the big airlines in China are state (and in turn, party) owned, and are basically a tool for the government to execute its policy - economically and politically.

01 Sep 2015

Total posts 17

It is good to know CE is expanding its markets here. But what has been frustrating to me are their service numbers proven to be very difficult to dial through. The australian number takes ages, and their number 95530 (+862195530) is not reachable from Australia despite they thought otherwise. Further, their flight schedules in China change too frequently. I have been changed 3 times for a simple domestic return flight between 2 chinese cities.


22 Mar 2015

Total posts 13

Having flown this CE and other chinese carriers, I understand that they are purchasing some new aircraft.  However, the service, both in flight and pre flight is appalling.  It is all smoke and mirrors.  I guess this is fine for chinese tourists, but the ability of this airline to actually do anything it says is dubious.  No thanks.  It is expensive, careless and worst of all, inconsistant.  Again,  NO THANKS.....

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on China Eastern Airlines to fly Sydney-Kunming in November