SYDNEY – Air China, the official carrier of the People’s Republic of China, recently announced that a direct service between Melbourne and Beijing will commence on June 1st, 2015.
According to Chinese media reports the service will operate four times per week with evening departures on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. It will increase to a daily service from October 25th, 2015.
Currently, Air China operates five times per week non-stop service from Melbourne to Shanghai then onwards to Beijing. As of June 1st, this service will be Melbourne to Shanghai direct. Both routes will be operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft offering 28 lie-flat bed business class seats and 199 economy class seats with a generous seat pitch of 32”. The decision to introduce a direct Melbourne to Beijing service reflects an increase in demand from both the business and leisure markets.
Air China is the only carrier flying from Australia to provide this direct service. Relations between China and Australia have been strengthened with the signing of a Free Trade Agreement in November last year. The FTA will see a growth in cooperation and exchange between the two countries in government relations, trade, business and cultural activities.
Over the course of 2015, Air China will increase its capacity from Melbourne by 60%, the largest increase in a single year since Air China first entered the Australian market 30 years ago.
Based in Beijing, Air China has an extensive domestic network and the largest capacity to Europe and North America from China. Australians flying into China can take advantage of 226 flights daily to 70 Chinese cities, including 35 in the north and west of China, 16 flights to 14 Europe cities, 9 flights to 7 North America cities and 19 flights to 12 Japanese and South Korean cities.
Business class travelers can enjoy a complimentary chauffeur-driven limousine service in Beijing and eight major cities in China as well as on-arrival Lounge service with shower and changing room facilities.
Air China also offers one of the most generous baggage allowances of any airline flying to China, Europe, Japan and North America from Australia.
By the end of 2015, the Air China fleet will expand to 581 aircraft, an increase of 11 percent over 2014. It will operate China’s largest fleet of wide-body aircraft with an average age of 6.16 years.