Brisbane Airport signs up Air China for direct flights to Beijing
Brisbane Airport is opening up a new direct route to and from Beijing after signing a deal with Air China.
Set to commence in December, the service will operate four times per week, arriving and departing Brisbane on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Air China, now Brisbane Airport’s 32nd airline partner, is the national carrier of China and the home airline of its mega-hub, Beijing Capital Airport.
- Qantas to base four new Dreamliners at Brisbane Airport with view to opening new routes
- Brisbane Cross River Rail to be funded by PPP
- Read the latest edition of Business Review Australia magazine
Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO and Managing Director, said: “This is another exceptional result for the ‘Connecting with Asia’ Consortium all of whom are working tirelessly in this space to attract new airlines such as Air China to our city and secure additional direct services or capacity on existing routes.
“These services are crucial for growing and supporting Queensland’s important tourism, trade, business and education industry sectors, while making our city and state a prime gateway for Chinese visitors and removing the need for Queensland travellers to transit via other ports.”
The service is the second partnership to be acquired for Brisbane as a result of the Queensland State Government ‘Connecting with Asia’ initiative, following the recent announcement of daily China Eastern services between Brisbane and Shanghai.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.