Melbourne and Chengdu airports ink partnership deal

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Melbourne and Chengdu Shuangliu international airports have signed a deal to cooperate as "sister airports" to boost travel between the two cities.

Melbourne airport chief executive Chris Woodruff says: "China has driven international growth at Melbourne airport over the last few years and will continue to do so. China is now our most important long-haul market."

"With our friends at Chengdu airport, we will work towards attracting direct services between Melbourne and Chengdu. We will share knowledge, experiences and best practice in areas such as route development, operations, planning and retailing."

The deal includes programmes for staff liaisons and exchanges.

Woodruff adds that the agreement would help facilitate greater visitation between Chengdu and Melbourne and "enhance both airports for airline customers, passengers and all stakeholders alike".

The cooperation is also expected to ultimately facilitate additional aviation capacity between Australia and China.