China Southern Airlines inaugural flight lands in Adelaide

December 13, 2016:

(PHOTO: Touch-down by David Hales)

The inaugural flight of the world’s third largest carrier – China Southern Airlines – lands at Adelaide Airport this morning, heralding a massive boost to the State’s visitor economy. The flight is the State’s first direct service from mainland China, with three weekly flights operating between Guangzhou and Adelaide on an Airbus A330-200. The service is expected to inject an annual $23.4 million dollars into South Australia’s record visitor economy. Chinese visitors currently contribute $240 million to the visitor economy with a target set for $450 million by 2020. China Southern Airlines President, Mr Tan Wangeng, led a delegation to Adelaide on the maiden flight, recognising the growing commercial and tourism opportunities between Guangzhou and Adelaide.

(PHOTO: Media Scrum by Adelaide plane spotter, Eric Erickson)

SA State Premier said, “The State Government is honoured to welcome China Southern Airlines and President Tan to Adelaide. The introduction of flights from one of the world’s largest airlines will be instrumental in boosting South Australia’s international profile and economy. This partnership will not only provide positive impacts for tourism, trade, education and investment but will create hundreds of jobs across the State. China is South Australia’s largest trade partner and the State Government is committed to expanding and identifying opportunities of mutual benefit across all sectors. With the addition of China Southern four new international routes have begun flying in to Adelaide since April 2011, with international seat numbers increasing by 58 per cent.”

(PHOTO: Water Cannon Salute by Adelaide plane spotter, Victoria Scholastica)

(PHOTO: Water Cannon Salute by Adelaide plane spotter, Tony Haynes)

SA Minister for Tourism, Leon Bignell had the following to say, “The State Government is doing everything it can to grow our visitor economy and securing China Southern is a huge win for South Australia. It’s so important our State is ready for Chinese visitors and we have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure their overall experience in SA is the best it can possibly be. For the first time visitors will be greeted with Chinese language signs at Adelaide Airport, on our main roads and key spots in the city. The State Government has also conducted China Ready workshops with tourism operators in all of the State’s regions. The visitor economy drives job growth in South Australia and, each day, we are literally surrounded by thousands of visitors from interstate and overseas. They are travellers who pump almost $6 billion into our economy. Today is an incredibly exciting day for South Australia and the transformation of our economy – not only in tourism but also for our exports. We want to fill the cargo holds of China Southern planes with our premium food and wine. This new route will create additional opportunities for tourism and trade for both cities. It’s a win-win in every possibly way.

(PHOTO: Chine Southern Greets Adelaide by David Wilkie, fiveDME)

Mark Young, Managing Director of Adelaide Airport said, “We are delighted to attract our first mainland China service, further expanding Adelaide’s international network. This new service creates significant inbound and outbound tourism opportunities as well as attractive export links into one of China’s largest cities, and in turn providing one-stop access to destinations across China. It also links Adelaide with China Southern’s Canton Route into Europe and the UK via its Guangzhou hub. We’re aware that there is strong demand from Chinese visitors for experiences that Adelaide and South Australia have to offer. The service will also connect the significant number of friends and families who live in the two regions.”

(PHOTO: Exchange of Gifts by David Wilkie, fiveDME)

The team fiveDME are please to see yet another airline take to the stage at Adelaide. Lots of people are involved in these negotiation and it just doesn’t happen without a lot of effort. Hopefully, Adelaide aviation enthusiasts will now have even more to catalouge.

(PHOTO: Meeting our locals by David Wilkie, fiveDME)

We’d like to thank the members of Adelaide Plane Spotting for giving us coverage from additional angles which made our job easier. We connot be everywhere at once.

Thank you!

On This Day 31st August

This material is compiled from sources including the Office of Air Force History, the RAAF Museum and the Australian War Memorial.  The Office of Air Force History is not responsible for pre-1921 items.  Whilst every effort is made to confirm the accuracy of the entries, any discrepancies are solely the responsibility of the originator.

31 Aug  37 –  Albert Medal awarded for attempted rescue

Albert medal McAloney George Cross

Albert Medal                                           McAloney with George Cross


On this day, a formation of three Demon aircraft flew from Laverton to Hamilton, in western Victoria, where they landed during the local Show. Shortly after 3.15 pm, the aircraft prepared to depart. As the second machine took off, the pilot attempted a climbing turn but stalled and crashed from a height of 200 feet. The fuel tank burst on impact and the Demon began burning fiercely. The observer in the aircraft still on the ground, AC1 W.S. McAloney, witnessed events and leapt to the rescue. Running into the flames, he attempted to extract the two crewmen before himself being dragged away with severe burns.   On 4 February 1938, McAloney was awarded the Albert Medal for Gallantry in Saving Life on Land –– an award unique in the annals of the RAAF.  He served on in the RAAF, retiring as a Wing Commander in December 1966. When the Albert Medal became obsolete in 1972, McAloney’s award was converted to the George Cross.


Media reporting of Feb 38 here and some other AWM history here:


31 Aug 44 –  Peak wartime strength reached

On this day, the RAAF first attained its highest strength during WW II of almost 182 000 personnel (162 846 males and 19 031 females). The Service stayed at this level for the next six months, and on 28 February 1945 still stood at 181 976 (163 336 males and 18 640 females). Among the males, 20 304 were officers and 143 032 were other ranks; 11 277 aircrew and 129 777 ground staff were serving in the South-West Pacific Area, including Australia, while 14 938 aircrew and 3499 ground staff were serving in other theatres, and the rest were missing or prisoners. Of the females, 495 were nursing sisters in the RAAF Nursing Service and 18 145 were members of the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (including 629 officers).  The Air Force declined in size from this point and, by the Japanese surrender in August 1945, was down to 173 622.


  More on the WAAAF here:


31 Aug 45 – 7EFTS disbanded in Tasmania

7efts disbanded



7EFTS, 1941                                                             C-47s delivering Christmas mail to 7EFTS


On this day, No 7 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS), located at Launceston’s Western Junction airport, was disbanded.  The School, Tasmania’s only WW II flying base, was established on 29 August 1940 and commenced  flying training with 11 Tiger Moths the following month.  A satellite field at Nile, seven and a half miles south of Western Junction, was completed and by the end of October 1944, 1801 trainees had passed through the unit and aircraft strength was approximately 60 Tiger Moths. The base was regularly visited by Airspeed Oxford aircraft from No 1 Operational Training Unit at Bairnsdale, Victoria as well as No 67 Squadron Ansons conducting anti-submarine patrols over Bass Strait and environs. During December 1944, training was suspended at Western Junction, but it was not until 28 March 1945 that flying ceased, and the aircraft were prepared for storage.


31 Aug 50 –  Transport pilot lost off Malaya

On this day, Pilot III (Flight Sergeant) G.J. McDonald of No 38 Squadron was lost when a Dakota transport from No 110 Squadron, RAF, crashed into the sea about 150 miles off the coast of Trengganu, Malaya.  He was copilot in the aircraft which took off from Changi airfield in Singapore (where No 38 Squadron had arrived in June to support British operations during the ‘Emergency’) at 4 am on a routine courier flight to Hong Kong.  When the Dakota failed to make a scheduled fuel stop at Saigon, a large-scale air search commenced. This produced no sightings, but about 4 am the next morning a naval launch picked up a British Army officer who had been a passenger on the aircraft and was the sole survivor from its crash. The search was called off at 6.30 pm on 1 September and that evening McDonald was classified as ‘missing believed killed’.


RAF 110SQN history here:


Aircrew behaving inappropriately – an occasional series

abi series













Shortly after CO 460 Squadron’s arrival at Breighton in the UK, two British police constables called on him to devise some way of overcoming the disappearance of push bikes from outside the Black Swan (‘Dirty Duck’) and the Seven Sisters (the ‘Seven [redacted]’) at closing time, only to be picked up by the rightful owners outside the main gate into the station next morning.   After a long discussion, at which general agreement was reached that everything must be done to stop this wanton pilfering, and the Air Force bikes would be painted all white, the two constables were shown to the door, beside which their bikes had been stood.  But alas their journey had been in vain, both bikes had vanished!!

Courtesy Department of Defence