Beijing Capital Airlines officially a Shenyang-Qingdao-Melbourne service, marking its debut in Australia and the sixth mainland Chinese carrier operating at Melbourne Airport.
Flight JD461, operated by Airbus A330-200, touched down at Tullamarine after 8:40 a.m. on Friday morning, after an 11-hour journey from Qingdao in the Shandong Province on China's east coast.
The Beijing-based carrier will operate the Shenyang-Qingdao-Melbourne service thrice weekly, with the Melbourne-bound flights departing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Beijing Capital Airlines, part of Virgin Australia shareholder HNA Group's stable of airlines, joins Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Xiamen Air offering service to Melbourne Airport. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific and Taiwanese flag carrier China Airlines also serve Melbourne.
And Melbourne will welcome a seventh mainland Chinese carrier from November when Hainan Airlines, also part of HNA Group, begins flights to Tullamarine from Changsha and Xi'an.
Melbourne Airport said China was its number one visitor market, with 820,000 Chinese residents passing through the airport in the 12 months to July 2016.
"Melbourne has achieved the fastest average growth from Chinese passengers over the past five years of all major Australian airports: 18.6 percent each year on average," the airport said.