MIAMI — Virgin Australia announced its intention to launch services from Sydney to Hong Kong in mid-2018. The airline plans to begin this new service to develop the carrier’s presence in Greater China.

The Brisbane-based airline plans to operate daily return flights between Sydney and Hong Kong International Airport with an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which can seat up to 335 passengers.

This flight between the two cities would follow Virgin Australia’s flights from Melbourne to Hong Kong, inaugurated seven months ago.

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Virgin Australia Group CEO, John Borghetti, stated about the benefits for customers and carrier of the new Sydney-Hong Kong route:

“Expanding our presence into Greater China is a key pillar of our international strategy, and today we are building on the positive momentum created since the launch of our Melbourne-Hong Kong flights.

“The new Sydney-Hong Kong service will link two global destinations and will allow Virgin Australia to further access the fastest growing and most valuable Australian inbound market, China, with our alliance partner Hong Kong Airlines. The service will also connect with Virgin Atlantic Airway’s flights to London.

“Virgin Australia has been “shaking up” the Australia-Hong Kong market by introducing lower fares and its award-winning inflight product and service since it began its first Melbourne-Hong Kong flight last year.”

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As of July 2017, Virgin Australia served 52 destinations, and has interline agreements with Alaska Airlines, to Seattle–Tacoma; Delta Air Lines; and Horizon Air, to Portland.

Currently, the airline has grown, flying to 29 cities in Australia from hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, using a fleet of narrow-body Boeing; and Airbus and Boeing widebody jets.

Likewise, it has a size fleet of 116 aircraft, including six Airbus A330-200, six ATR 72-500, eight ATR 72-600, two Boeing 737-700, 81 Boeing 737-800, and five Boeing 777-300ER. Also, its expecting 40 Boeing 737 MAX 8 to be delivered between 2019 and 2021.