AusBN - The tourism industry in the Northern Territory (NT) is set to be handed a boost by the initiation of direct flights from China, which could begin in a matter of months.
Chinese company Donghai Airlines has applied for a permit to fly to Darwin through China's Civil Aviation Administration, which has been a result of several years of political lobbying in both countries.
The Shenzhen-based airline has applied to begin three flights per week from September, which could include a passenger or freight service.
NT’s Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said she held productive talks with Donghai during a recent trip to China, but stressed there are many more hurdles to overcome before the flights will commence.
"This is the first step of an extensive process prior to the commencement of any service. I am looking forward to further talks with Donghai Airlines and will continue to promote Darwin and the NT to potential new carriers," said Moss.
The NT government aims to double the number of visitors from China within two years, hoping to attract 30,000 annual Chinese tourists with an estimated expenditure of AUS$46 million.