China Southern (CZ) has started flying from Guangzhou Baiyun International airport to Moscow Sheremetyevo International airport via Wuhan Tianhe International airport three times a week.
The route is operated by a 218-seat A330-200 consisting of four classes – with four first class seats in a 1-2-1 format; 24 business arranged in 2-2-2; 48 premium economy and 142 economy seats both in 2-4-2 configurations.
Premium economy class
The service departs Guangzhou on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1145, arriving in Wuhan at 1330. The service departs again at 1510, reaching Moscow at 2015 local time. The return leg departs the Russian capital at 2215, landing in Wuhan at 0955, before leaving at 1135 and touching back down in Guangzhou at 1320.
The launch of this route is good news for passengers in the Hubei Province as the direct flight time between Wuhan and Moscow is just nine hours. Previously, passengers from Hubei Province travelling to Russia had to get a connecting flight in Shanghai or Guangzhou adding at least five hours to the journey. The new service also helps to connect one of China's most important cities. Wuhan, which has a population of over ten million, is an important domestic trade centre and is home to major industries, from automobiles to electronics. Click here for an Inside China article of the city, and here to subscribe.
In the near future, CZ intends to sign a codeshare agreement with Russian carrier Aeroflot on the new route. This will mean that Chinese travellers will be able to use Moscow as a transit port to access other parts of Russia, as well as parts of Eastern Europe.
Wuhan Tianhe International airport currently operates 22 international routes, flying to destinations such as Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Bangkok, Osaka, and Ho Chi Minh City. The airport plans to expand its direct services, with Chicago, Tokyo, Melbourne and Cairns first on the list.