Air China begins meal pre-ordering on select international flights

Air China Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Air China has begun offering on-board meal pre-ordering for first and business class passengers on select international flights departing Beijing.

The new service is currently set to run until October 28, 2017. During this time, passengers travelling in fare classes F and A (first class) and J, C, D, Z and R (business class) will be able to reserve their on-board meals at least 24 hours before their flight departure time.

Applicable destinations include cities in the US, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Spain, Austria, the UK, South Africa, Belarus, Germany, France and Italy, though some routes only provide pre-ordering for snacks rather than meals.

The full list of applicable flights is as follows:

Flight No.RouteMealsSnacks
CA781Beijing → Zurich1
CA783Beijing → Auckland1
CA907Beijing → Madrid1
CA817Beijing → Washington, D.C.1
CA819Beijing → Newark1
CA841Beijing → Vienna1
CA855, CA937Beijing → Heathrow1
CA861Beijing → Geneva1
CA867Beijing → Johannesburg1
CA879Beijing → Montreal1
CA887, CA983, CA987Beijing → Los Angeles1
CA721Beijing → Minsk1
CA909Beijing → Moscow1
CA931Beijing → Frankfurt1
CA933Beijing → Paris1
CA939Beijing → Rome1
CA961Beijing → Munich1
CA981, CA989Beijing → New York (JFK)1
CA985Beijing → San Francisco1
CA991, CA997Beijing → Vancouver1
CA995Beijing → Houston1

Some 18 dishes are currently listed by Air China as being available to preorder. These include garlic silver cod fish, Korean-style grilled beef fillet, Wuxi pork spare ribs, teriyaki chicken, and wonton noodle soup, among many others.

Ordering can be done only through Air China’s official website (location must be set to China) and can be selected by following the “Booking Additional Services” under “Self-Booking” on the home page.

airchina.com

Air China plans new Kazakhstan service ahead of Astana Expo

Rendering of the Expo 2017 site with the city centre in the distance, Astana

Air China will be connecting the capital cities of China and Kazakhstan this summer when it commences direct flights between Beijing and Astana.

The new service (CA791/CA792) is set to take off on June 1 and will operate three times weekly, flying on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The forward journey to Astana departs Beijing in the late afternoon, arriving in the evening, while the return leg to Beijing flies overnight.

According to Air China’s current schedule, its Airbus A320 is set to operate the route. The 158-seat aircraft is configured by Air China in two classes, with eight in business (2-2) and the rest in economy class (3-3).

The new route will coincide with the beginning of Astana World Expo 2017, which is being held from June 10 to September 10 this year. Late last month, Air Astana announced frequency increases across almost a dozen of its routes through is Astana hub, similarly set to come into effect ahead of the international exposition.

Details of Air China’s upcoming service are as follows (all times local):

Flight NoFromToDepartsArrivesDays
CA791PEKTSE17202100Tue, Thu, Sun
CA792TSEPEK22300530

airchina.com

Air China to launch new services to Spain

Air China Boeing 777-300ER

Air China will launch new route to Barcelona starting from May 5.

The service will be operated by an A330-200 three times a week. CA839 will depart Shanghai Pudong Airport on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 0030 and landing in Barcelona at 0800. The return flight CA840 will leave Spain on Friday and Sunday at 1230 and touch down in China at 0640 the following day; while, on Tuesday, the flight will take off at 1145 before landing in Shanghai at 0555 the following day.

Meanwhile, the carrier had announced launching the Beijing – Zurich route in June. The four-time weekly will also be operated by an A330-200.

airchina.com

Regent Hotels begins double miles deal with China Eastern and Air China

Regent Taipei's renovated lobby

Regent Hotels and Resorts will be running a two-month-long double mileage campaign for members of Air China’s and China Eastern Airlines’ frequent flyer programmes when they stay at one of three hotels in mainland China and Taiwan.

The new offer will begin on April 1 and will run until May 31. During that time, members of Phoenix Miles (Air China) and Eastern Miles (China Eastern Airlines) will be able to accrue double the miles when they stay for one or more consecutive nights at Regent Beijing, Regent Chongqing or Regent Taipei at an eligible room rate.

According to Regent Hotels, this will increase the miles an eligible stay would typically accrue from 800 to 1,600 kilometres.

The three properties are each situated in key financial and commercial districts in their respective city. The Regent Beijing it located in Wangfujing, walking distance from the Forbidden City; Regent Chongqing (which opened in December last year) is in Jiangbeizui and offers views of the Jialing River and Yuzhong Peninsular; while Regent Taipei is in Zhongshan and includes the Regent Galleria shopping destination.

regenthotels.com; airchina.com; en.ceair.com

Air China’s Zurich service is resurrected

Air China Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Air China will be making its return to Zurich this summer, more than 17 years after it last operated flights to the Swiss city.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was alerted to the news by industry website airlineroute.net and confirmed the service appears on the airline’s timetable – though it should be noted the website’s scheduling differs from that of the airline’s own.

Starting June 7, the airline’s Beijing-Zurich flights will resume on a four-times-weekly schedule flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, according to Air China’s timetable.

The flights will be operated by an Airbus A330-200, which the carrier configures in a two-class layout with 30 business and 207 economy class seats.

Air China’s new route follows the signing of a long-awaited joint venture with Lufthansa back in September, which would see the two airlines coordinate flights and schedules between China and Europe, and is expected to take effect this summer. Lufthansa is the parent company of Zurich-based airline Swiss.

Earlier this year, Air China began offering a “Fully Entrusted-No Baggage Claim” service for flights departing Europe and the Americas and flying to Chinese cities via Beijing. The service allows passengers to authorise Air China personnel to open their checked baggage for customs and quarantine checks at Beijing Capital Airport, enabling passengers to directly clear immigration without the need to collect their checked baggage.

Details of the Beijing (PEK)-Zurich (ZRH) service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No.FromToDepartsArrivesDays
CA781PEKZRH02350725Tue, Wed, Fri
03050755Sun
CA782ZRHPEK13300520+1Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun

airchina.com

Air China to operate Chengdu–Sydney service three times a week

Air China Boeing 777-300ER

Air China has started selling tickets for a new planned service linking Chengdu with Sydney.

The route, which is scheduled to commence on November 11, will be operated three-times weekly with an Airbus A330, reports routesonline. The aircraft features a two-class configuration, with 30 seats in business and 207 in economy.

Flight CA429 will depart Chengdu every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 2255 and arrive in Sydney at 1235 the following day. Following a brief layover, flight CA430 will take off from Sydney at 1435 and touch back down in Chengdu at 2235.

The Chengdu–Sydney route will complement Air China’s existing Beijing–Sydney daily service. The Star Alliance member is looking to add even more capacity on its flights to Sydney, by replacing the A330 currently serving the route with a high density B777-300ER (featuring a tight ten-across economy layout). It will also launch a seasonal, three-times weekly service between Shanghai Pudong and Sydney later this year.

For more information, visit airchina.com

Clement Huang

Air China increases Shanghai–Osaka services

Air China will introduce a third daily service for its Shanghai Pudong – Osaka Kansai service from July 14.

Unlike the other two services, which are operated with the Airbus A321 and A330, the new flight will be served with an A320 aircraft that features a two-class configuration of eight seats in business and 150 in economy.

The service will see flight CA857 depart Shanghai-Pudong at 1420, arriving in Osaka Kansai at 1730. The return leg features flight CA858 taking off from Osaka at 1830 before touching back down in Shanghai at 2000.

For more information, visit airchina.com

Clement Huang

Air China to move into Beijing’s T3

Beijing Capital AirportAir China is to start operating from the huge new Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital airport from March 2008. The new terminal will be the main base for the national flag carrier and its Star Alliance partners who serve the Chinese capital.

As the world’s largest terminal, with a floor space of over one million square metres, Terminal 3 will have an annual capacity of 40 million passengers. The scale of the operation is huge, with a new baggage-handling system capable of processing 19,000 bags an hour, space for 7,000 cars, and a 3.5km runway to accommodate the world’s biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380.

The US$2.8 billion terminal was designed and built in a joint venture with British architect Norman Foster (Foster and Partners), Dutch airport planners NACO, and engineers ARUP.

Based on a “dragon” design, the building combines traditional Chinese colours and symbols with the latest technology. Energy conservation and sustainability were key to the design, and features include south-east-facing skylights, built to reduce lighting and heating requirements.

The terminal will be officially opened in March and will double the airport’s capacity to 80 million people a year.

For more information visit air-china.co.uk, bcia.com.cn. To read our review of Air China’s business class offering, click here.

Report by Carmen Coyne