Air China (Beijing) on March 31, 2013 will upgrade its aircraft to the Boeing 777-300 ER (see above) and increase its frequency from 7 to 11 per week for its nonstop New York (JFK)-Beijing flights.
Air China is the only airline with nonstop service between New York and Beijing. It is also the only airline with first class cabin between these two cities. Current daily flights between New York and Beijing are CA 982 and CA 981.
The additional outbound flight, CA 990, departs from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2:50 AM, arriving in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 2:20 PM local time the next day. Inbound, CA 989 leaves Beijing at 9:00 AM also on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in New York at 10:20 AM local time on the same day.
According to the airline, the “Triple Seven” has a wider cabin than any competing aircraft. It is designed for maximum passenger comfort and convenience. Air China’s Forbidden Pavilion (first class) features eight luxury suites, 41 full-flat bed seats in the Capital Pavilion (business class) and 259 economy seats with individual monitors and in-seat audio-video on demand (AVOD).
Designed for maximum passenger comfort, the interior of Air China’s Boeing 777-300 ER feature ten mood lighting variations in the Forbidden and Capital Pavilions, each timed to complement the different phases of a flight—from boarding through meal service, sleeping and pre-arrival. The ambient lighting recreates the sunset, night and sunrise to reflect the various services associated with each phase and create a totally relaxing environment.
Today’s announcement follows last week’s approval granted to Air China by the U.S. Department of Transportation to start four weekly nonstop services between Houston and Beijing on July 11, 2013 using the Boeing 777-300 ER. Houston is Air China’s fifth gateway in North America in addition to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. The Los Angeles-Beijing service, operated with the Boeing 777-300ER, will resume its double daily flights on March 31, 2013. Vancouver-Beijing is scheduled to increase from 7 to 11 flights per week on May 17, 2013. A bigger Boeing 747-400 full passenger aircraft will be used for the San Francisco-Beijing daily operation beginning on March 31, 2013.
In other news, Air China will commence nonstop Chengdu-Frankfurt service on May 19, 2013.
Chengdu, the capital of a province widely known as China’s breadbasket, is a southwestern Chinese city with huge growth potential. Recent years have seen a continuous uptick in the number of outbound travelers 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. The opening of the new Chengdu-Frankfurt nonstop service will make Chengdu the third Mainland China city with direct air links to Frankfurt. The whole flight takes just 10 hours, which represents a significant cut in travel time. This faster service will be another driver of the fast growth in tourism and economy of southwestern China.
The three-times weekly service, CA431/432, will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 (see below) on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight time is approximately 10 hours. The flight leaves Chengdu at 01:30 and arrives in Frankfurt at 06:10 on the same day. The return flight is expected to take off from Frankfurt at 14:00 and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 05:40 the next day.
Top Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) in the “Smiling China” special livery climbs away from Shanghai (Hongqiao).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 B-6117 (msn 903) completes its approach back at the Beijing hub.