Finding the Cheapest Flights between China and Australia

If your’e hunting for discount flights between China and Australia, read on. This post features some of the tips and tricks I’ve discovered, plus links to great sites for flight deals between Australia and China.

Here’s a list of airlines, with their flight routes (in no particular order):

Qantas Flies between:
Brisbane <> Hong Kong
Sydney <> Hong Kong
Sydney <> Shanghai
Melbourne <> Hong Kong
Perth <> Hong Kong

 Jetstar Flies between:
Melbourne < via Singapore > Beijing
Melbourne < via Singapore > Hangzhou
Melbourne < via Singapore > Hong Kong
Melbourne < via Singapore > Macau
Sydney < via Singapore > Hangzhou
Sydney < via Singapore > Macau
Sydney < via Singapore > Guangzhou (starting in Dec 2011)
Adelaide < via Singapore > Hangzhou
Adelaide < via Singapore > Hong Kong
Adelaide < via Singapore > Macau
Perth < via Singapore > Beijing
Perth < via Singapore > Hangzhou
Perth < via Singapore > Hong Kong
Perth < via Singapore > Macau

Air China Flies between:
Sydney <> Beijing (PEK)
Sydney <> Shanghai (Pudong)
Melbourne <> Shanghai (Pudong)

Note: the above flights are their direct flights, being a domestic carrier you can easily book a connecting flight onwards to other cites in China for which they often have package deals.

Air Asia Flies:
Melbourne/Gold Coast/Perth < via Kuala Lumpur > Shenzhen
Melbourne/Gold Coast/Perth < via Kuala Lumpur > Guangzhou
Melbourne/Gold Coast/Perth < via Kuala Lumpur > Guilin
Melbourne/Gold Coast/Perth < via Kuala Lumpur > Hangzhou (Shanghai)
Melbourne/Gold Coast/Perth < via Kuala Lumpur > Tianjin (Beijing)
Melbourne/Gold Coast/Perth < via Kuala Lumpur > Chengdu
Darwin < via Bali > Chengdu
Darwin < via Bali > Hangzhou (Shanghai)

Note: some of these flights would require at least one night layover in Kuala Lumpur/Bali, see the Air Asia website for which routes have ‘Fly Through’ services which offers minimal time between transfer to the onward flight and no need to leave the airport or even go through customs at KL.

Cathay Pacific Flies:
Perth <> Hong Kong
Adelaide <> Hong Kong
Melbourne <> Hong Kong
Sydney <> Hong Kong
Brisbane <> Hong Kong
Cairns <> Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific can connect to just about any city in China from Hong Kong via it’s sister airline Dragon Air, for which it offers package deals.

Hainan Airlines Flies:
Sydney <> Shenzhen

Hainan often offer package deals to other destinations in China via Shenzhen.

China Southern Flies:
Sydney <> Guangzhou
Melbourne <> Guangzhou
Brisbane <> Guangzhou
Perth <> Guangzhou

China Southern also offer package deals for onward connections from Guangzhou to most cities in China. At the Australian end they also offer package deals for connecting flights to othe destinations in Australia including Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and Queenstown.

China Eastern Flies:
Sydney <> Shanghai
Melbourne <> Shanghai

CE also flies out of Brisbane to either Melbourne or Sydney then onwards to Shanghai. Package deals often advertised for connecting flights from Shanghai to other cites in China.

China Airlines Flies:
Sydney <> Taipei
Brisbane <> Taipei

China Airlines have connecting flights from Taipei to most major cities in China including Beijing, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Wuhan, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Haikou, Sanya and Wenzhou.

Tiger Airways Flies:
Perth < via Singapore > Hong Kong/Macau/Shenzhen/Haikou/Guangzhou

Even more options, all with stop overs in their respective home country:
Malasysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Korean Air, Phillipines Airlines, Air New Zealand, Japan Airlines and Gurada Indonesia.

Flight Aggregator sites:
http://ctrip.com
http://elong.net
http://webjet.com.au
http://flightcentre.com.au

My Experiences when booking flights:
The travel booking sites/flight aggregators make searching for flights between two destinations very simple and quite often have great deals, particularly if it’s a last minute booking. But, they don’t always show all the options such as direct flights that might be available, nor flights from the discount carriers such as Air Asia.

For me, being in Shenzhen means there is a number of options as to which airport to depart or arrive, including Shenzhen Bo’an Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Macau airport, and even Guangzhou Airport is not to far away.

Macau once had cheap direct flights to Australia but thats over now that Viva Macau has had their licence revoked.

One quite odd thing I discovered with Cathay Pacific, is that the package deal, to fly Guangzhou to HK and then HK to Melb is cheaper than it is to just book a Cathay Pacific Flight from HK to Melb….

Who offers the best airfares to and from China?
If you can plan ahead, it’s all about watching out for the promotions offered direct from the airlines, in particular China Southern, Hainan Airlines and Air Asia. At the time of writing, Hainan Airlines definately stands out in terms of value,  they are a five star rated airline, plus they have large baggage allowances and their round trip promotion prices, which often need to be booked months in advance, are hard to beat. If it’s a last minute booking, probably Air Asia, China Southern, Jetstar, Tiger or hope to get lucky on one of the flight aggregator sites.

One thought on “Finding the Cheapest Flights between China and Australia

  • February 3, 2012 at 11:22 am
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    Early booking, avoid the weekend flights are the best idea to book cheap airline tickets. Thanks for sharing the information.

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