Air China will begin non-stop flights between Chengdu and Frankfurt on May 19, and increase the frequencies as well as upgrade its aircraft on the Beijing-New York route on March 31.
The thrice weekly Chengdu-Frankfurt service, scheduled on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, will utilise an A330-200. The aircraft departs Chengdu at 0130 and lands in Frankfurt at 0610 on the same day. The return leg will take off from the German city at 1400 for a 0540 arrival time at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport the next day.
"Recent years have seen a continuous uptick in the number of outbound travellers from Chengdu and other southwestern neighboring cities like Lhasa, Kunming and Xi'an who leave China via Chengdu. Currently, passengers who travel between Chengdu and other southwestern regions and Germany have to transfer in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, and the whole journey takes at least 15 hours," says an Air China representative. The new flight time is 10 hours.
On March 31, meanwhile, Air China will increase frequencies and upgrade the aircraft used on its New York-Beijing service. The route will be flown by a B777-300ER, and frequency will go from seven to 11 times a week.
The additional flights will leave Beijing at 0900 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 1020 on the same day. The return leg will take off from the Big Apple at 0250 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, for a 1420 touch down in the Chinese capital the following day.
The B777-300ER is the largest long-range twin-engine jetliner, and has a more environmentally friendly engine. "I'm sure our guests will appreciate the features of the energy-efficient Boeing 777-300ER," says Yuelong Zhou, Air China's general manager in New York. It also has a wider cabin, allowing plenty of room for the carrier's "Forbidden Pavillion" (first class) product that features eight luxury suites and the Capital Pavillion (business class) with 41 fully flat beds. To take a virtual tour of these premier classes, click here and here. They also feature ambient lighting that alters to complement the different phases of a flight. There are 259 seats in economy.
"Business or leisure travelers bound for Beijing or onward to domestic Chinese cities and other destinations in Asia such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Thailand and many others, stand to benefit the most from Air China's increased capacity and convenient connecting flights," Zhou added.
This news follows further announcements that Air China is to begin flights to Geneva (see story here) in May, and four weekly non-stop services between Houston and Beijing on July 11.
For more information, visit www.airchina.com