In and of itself, this seems to matter very little in the overall world of airline routes. However, a closer look will tell you that while it sounds direct, it’s actually a transfer from Guangzhou.
Even that is still something new. For the first time a Chinese airline is heavily marketing a Kangaroo route, the British have a long history with Australia after all, and this is yet another Chinese entry into a market it sees as underserved.
Why? For one thing a flight to Guangzhou is a hell of a lot shorter than one to, typically Sydney on BA or Qantas (or even via Dubai or Doha on Emirates or Qatar). The onward flight to Cairns is also shorter than the Singapore-Sydney leg of the Qantas route (from next year). The chance is as well that if you fly to Sydney you won’t get to Australia at a time that suits a transfer until the next day. With Guangzhou you have barely a two-hour transfer time. So you’re not wasting a day of your precious vacation.
Just another example of the Chinese seeing a market and exploiting it. You almost have to wonder why nobody else has thought about it. Cairns is a top destination for many British travellers because of the Great Barrier Reef.
How many other places will see this type of inventive packaging of a basic air route?
China Southern is charging just around £578 return. Flight start on December 13th 2017.