Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

26 Oct, 2015

Air China’s New Winter/Spring Schedule Makes it First Chinese Airline to Cover All Six Continents

BEIJING, Oct. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Air China’s 2015/2016 Winter/Spring Schedule has come into effect on October 25, 2015. The new schedule features 660 flights per week on average, up about 20% compared with its 2014 counterpart, with 110 international/regional passenger routes to 69 international/regional cities. In particular, with the commencement of the BeijingJohannesburg and Beijing Addis Ababa routes, Air China will become the only Chinese carrier serving all the six continents – Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Oceania.

Air China announced at its October 23 press conference in Beijing that it will start BeijingJohannesburg service on October 29, 2015 and BeijingAddis Ababa service on November 2, 2015, and at the same time released its 2015/2016 Winter/Spring Schedule. In attendance were South African Ambassador in China, Ethiopian Ambassador in China, Chinese Ambassador in Ethiopia, representatives from South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, and Air China Vice President Wang Mingyuan.

Johannesburg and Addis Ababa are two important cities in the southern and eastern parts of Africa. The latest statistics from the Chinese customs authorities suggest that in 2014, imports and exports between China and Africa reached a record USD 221.88 billion, up 5.5% year on year. Africa’s economic leader, South Africa accounts for one third of Africa’s GDP, and is also China’s largest trading partner in Africa. Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city and economic enter. Sitting on the world’s largest gold mine, the city has earned its reputation as the “City of Gold”. Addis Ababa is home to the headquarters of the African Union. The ideally located city of Addis Ababa is an important hub offering easy access to other parts of Africa. Now, Air China’s two new routes will more closely connect Asia and Africa, help more Chinese companies achieve their global ambitions and serve as an air bridge for travelers looking to explore mysterious Africa.

Air China Vice President said that in recent years, air travelers between China and Africa have been increasing at an annual rate of 21.3% to reach 1.415 million. Air China’s two new nonstop routes will further the traditional friendship between China and Africa and meet the ever increasing demand for air travel between China and Africa; they are also Air China’s enthusiastic response to the Chinese government’s “One Road, One Belt” initiative. The two new routes not only are the “Silk Road in the Air” linking China and Africa, but also offer more flight options to travelers between Africa and other Asia Pacific regions like Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

He also mentioned that in 2015, Air China has further cemented its global route network with its hub in Beijing by opening over ten new international routes, including BeijingMinskBudapest, BeijingMelbourne, Beijing – Hakodate, ChengduColombo, HangzhouOsaka, TianjinDalianSapporo and BeijingMontreal services. The year will be one with the largest number of newly opened routes in the history of Air China. Next, Air China will introduce more international routes. With the new Africa routes, Air China will become the only Chinese carrier serving all the six continents.

At the press conference, Air China also released its 2015/2016 Winter/Spring Schedule which is valid from October 25, 2015 to March 26, 2016. The new schedule features such newly started international routes like BeijingJohannesburg, BeijingAddis Ababa, Beijing –Mumbai, BeijingColombo, BeijingIslamabadKarachi, BeijingColombo, BeijingAuckland, ChengduOsaka, ChengduTokyo and ChengduParis as well as more flights to the existing Los Angeles, Paris and Milan routes and to major Chinese domestic routes. Air China’s domestic routes and international one are laid out to complement each other in a balanced way.


Starting flights to Africa, making Air China a carrier with operations to all the six continents

Flights BeijingJohannesburg: The service, CA867/8, is operated on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (outbound flights) and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (return flights). The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 23:15 and arrives in Johannesburg at 7:35 the following day. The return flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:40 and arrives in Beijing at 7:10. The flights are to be operated with Boeing 777-300ER, an aircraft type quite popular with the world’s business travelers. Its First Class and Business Class are outfitted with full-flat seats and a central bar. All classes of service offer personal AVOD, power outlets, accessible toilets for the disabled and mood lighting system which can mimic the wonderful moments from sunrise to sunset, guaranteeing a truly pleasant journey for passengers.

Flights BeijingAddis Ababa: Air China’s BeijingAddis Ababa service, CA869/70, is operated three times a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 00:40 and arrives in Addis Ababa at 7:20. The return flight departs from Addis Ababa at 14:30 and arrives in Beijing at 5:10 the following day. The flights are operated with A330-200. Its Business Class is outfitted with seats that can turn into full-flat beds and all classes of service offer personal AVOD, guaranteeing passengers a truly pleasant journey.

Starting flights to appealing tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and Oceania

From October 25 to October 27, Air China will start BeijingMumbai, BeijingKuala Lumpur, BeijingIslamabadKarachi and BeijingColombo routes. The BeijingMumbai flights, CA889/890, are operated four times a week. The BeijingColombo flights, CA871/872, are operated four times a week. The BeijingIslamabadKarachi flights, CA945/6, are operated three times a week. The BeijingColombo flights, CA873/4, are operated three times a week. All these routes will be operated with A330.

Meanwhile, Air China will commence daily BeijingAuckland nonstop service CA783/784 from December 10, 2015 and increase its existing four times weekly BeijingMelbourne service to daily from October 25, 2015. The two routes are all operated with A330-200, an aircraft type outfitted with 28 Business Class seats which can turn into full-flat beds and 199 Economy Class seats with seat pitch of 32 inches.

Solidifying the presence in the Americas

Air China has started BeijingMontreal nonstop service from September 29, 2015. The flights, CA879/CA880, are operated 3 times a week, complementing the carrier’s BeijingVancouver flights. At the same time, Air China will add 4 more flights, CA819/820, per week to its BeijingNew York route, bringing Newark airport into its New York schedule. The new flights BeijingNewark plus the existing twice daily flights Beijing– JFK will offer more convenient travel options to passengers.

Currently, Air China serves 8 destinations in North America, including New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Vancouver, Hawaii and Montreal, offering over 140 flights per week operated with B777-300ER and B747-8. In addition, Air China also offers healthy seasonal in-flight meals and VIP chauffeured transfers between the airport and downtown for passengers on the China-US flights. Comfortable cabin environment and attentive services guarantee passengers a truly pleasant travel experience.

Stepping up the capacity in the southwest regional network

Air China is continuing to increase its capacity in its regional hub in China’s southwestern city of Chengdu. After starting ChengduColombo service at the beginning of the year, Air China will commence ChengduOsaka service on October 25, 2015, ChengduTokyo service on October 26, 2015 and ChengduParis service on December 12, 2015. These new routes will add more spokes to Air China’s regional hub in Chengdu, and represent the carrier’s tangible moves to cement its presence in China’s southwest region.

In Air China’s 2015 Winter/Spring Schedule, the carrier offers from its hub in Chengdu over 110 air links to a total of 71 cities, including 13 international and regional cities, of which 11 like Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Singapore, Colombo, Frankfurt and Paris are served by nonstop flights. Air China has the ambition to make Chengdu a large hub in China and the top hub in southwest China.