Chinese airline to use Avalon airport as base

A Chinese airline will use Victoria's Avalon Airport as a base under a new deal that could allow passengers to fly direct to China.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said the agreement, expanding transport operations between HNA Group Hainan Airlines in China and Linfox in Avalon, was terrific news for Geelong and for jobs.

"It initially involves regular air freight services from Avalon to China, which is really important for the government's Food to Asia Program," Dr Napthine said on Friday. "Then we'll have a look towards passenger flights into the future."

While on a trade mission to enhance ties with Asia, the Premier joined Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Shanghai for the signing of a memorandum of understanding to create the international terminal.

The deal commits Linfox to assist Hainan Airlines to begin an aviation service between Australia and China within 18 months using Avalon Airport as a base.