Three Chinese airlines have submitted applications for new Europe routes to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), according to CAAC’s latest announcement published on June 6.
China Eastern Airlines has applied for a twice-weekly service between Milan and Wenzhou, an eastern coastal city in Zhejiang Province near Shanghai. The carrier plans to commence operation of the route in October 2019.
Currently, passengers can fly from Milan Malpensa Airport to four Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guiyang. Air China operates daily non-stop Milan-Beijing and Milan-Shanghai Pudong flights, while Italian carrier Neos Air flies twice a week to Nanjing, and once a week to Guiyang.
Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines has planned two routes from Shanghai Pudong to Manchester and Athens. The proposed Shanghai Pudong-Manchester service is planned to fly three times weekly starting in March 2020. At the moment, only Hainan Airlines flies four times a week between Beijing and Manchester.
The other planned route between Shanghai Pudong and Athens is also projected to fly three times a week from March 2020. Air China has been the only Chinese carrier so far to offer a Beijing-Athens service: the airline flies the route three times weekly.
Beijing Capital Airlines, a low-cost subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, has applied for a weekly Beijing-Xi’an-Lisbon service set to begin in July 2019.
In addition to the proposed Europe routes, the CAAC has also received applications for another three new routes to Japan and Korea.
Beijing Capital Airlines is eyeing a three-times-weekly Qingdao-Okinawa service beginning in July this year, while Shenzhen Airlines has planned to fly between Nanchang and Osaka seven times a week from this June. Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines has also applied for a three-times-per-week Shenzhen-Lianyungang-Jeju route starting in July 2019.
However, it’s worth emphasising that all these routes have yet to gain approval, nor are the aircraft types to be deployed on the routes disclosed in the CAAC annoucement.