Airport lands Chinese carrier
THE first China Southern Airlines charter flight to the Gold Coast touched down this morning to much fanfare.
The arrival of the airline's executives and VIP guests was marked with a water cannon salute and a greeting in the terminal from Aboriginal dancers and some Australian native animals from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan said the Chinese tourist market was important for the coast and the arrival marked a significant move forward in establishing links.
"I have been personally working in China for the past three years and the flight today is the culmination of a lot of work," Mr Donovan said.
"We are very proud that you chose the Gold Coast for your guests and we want to deliver the wow factor."
Mr Donovan asked the delegates to talk about their Gold Coast experience when they return to China.
China Southern president Tan Wan'geng said he was impressed by the "thoughtful arrangement and warm" welcome.
"Australia is an important link in the in the strategy of the international market," Mr Tan said.
The 300 delegates will spend the next four days on the Gold Coast in the biggest trade and corporate business tour to touch down in Queensland from one country market.
The airline will operate a direct flight from Guangzhou to Coolangatta by 2015.