British Airways’ first flight from London to Beijing in more than three years touched down at Beijing Daxing Airport yesterday.

This was British Airways’ first passenger flight between the two cities since January 2020, when the route was suspended due to the pandemic.

The resumption reclaims the airline’s exclusivity as the only British carrier operating a direct service between Beijing and the UK.

Flights will operate four-times-a-week between Beijing and London, departing Daxing Airport on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

British Airways and joint business partner China Southern both operate from Daxing, giving customers greater connectivity between the UK and China, with easier transfers, a wider choice of onward flights and enhanced benefits.

Frequent flyer benefits through the joint business include greater opportunities to collect points, the ability to book through both airlines’ websites or apps, and enhanced lounge access.

British Airways’ director of worldwide airports, Louise Street, welcomed the inaugural flight, greeting customers and crew as they disembarked.

“The restart of one of our most important routes after more than three years is a long-awaited moment for all of us at British Airways. Following the successful resumption of flights between Shanghai and London in April, we’re excited to be back in Beijing too, reuniting families and friends and facilitating international student and business travel once again,” Street said.

When British Airways first announced the resumption earlier this year its flight maps showed an older cabin configuration. This, however, has been updated and now customers travelling between the two cities can enjoy the airline’s newly designed Club Suite (business class) cabin, with direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Boasting 40 per cent more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, wifi, 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens, high-definition gate-to-gate programming and PC / USB power, luxurious new furnishings including a plush new pillow and a warm quilt from The White Company, new amenity kits and an enhanced service and an improved dining experience.

In October 2019, British Airways was the first international flag carrier to move operations across to the newly opened, Daxing Airport, designed by British architect, the late Zaha Hadid.

Customers flying into Daxing can benefit from a high-speed rail link into the city, and enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, including a newly re-designed lounge for those eligible.

British Airways has operated regular flights to Beijing since November 1980.

The Daxing flights depart Heathrow at 1505 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive in Beijing the following day at 0935.

The return flights leave Daxing at 1120 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and arrive back at Heathrow same day at 1730.