British Airways has announced its return to Beijing and Shanghai, after re-starting flights to Hong Kong. In spring, the airline will relaunch at London-Heathrow two routes suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From April 23, 2023, it will offer a daily flight to Shanghai-Pudong airport, operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Departures are scheduled at 12.25am to arrive the next day at 7.55am (flight time 12.30pm), with return flights leaving China at 11.00am to land at 6.25pm (flight time 2.25pm). British Airways will compete on this route with Air China and China Eastern Airlines, plus Virgin Atlantic which will relaunch the route on May 1.
We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our flights from Shanghai and Beijing.Noella Ferns, British Airways’ Head of Sales, Asia Pacific
From June 3, 2023, the airline of the Oneworld alliance will be back between London and Beijing-Daxing airport, with four weekly rotations by Dreamliner: departures on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3:05 pm to arrive the next day at 9:35 am (flight time 11:30 am), and return from the Chinese capital on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11:20 am to land at 5:30 pm (flight time 13:10 pm).
British Airways first flew to China in 1980, and continued to do so until the pandemic. It has “worked hard to reintroduce these important routes to allow customers to be with family and friends”. It had relaunched its passenger flights to Hong Kong-Chek Lap Lok last December after a one-year suspension, with that destination to be permanently abandoned by rival Virgin Atlantic at the end of the winter season.
Safety has always been important for the British airline. The air on all British Airways’ flights is fully recycled once every two to three minutes through HEPA filters, which remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with more than 99.9% efficiency, equivalent to hospital operating theatre standards. Additionally, British Airways always follows local regulations to ensure customers experience safe and smooth travel.
We have connected the two countries for more than 40 years.Noella Ferns, British Airways’ Head of Sales, Asia Pacific
London is following the example of other the world’s capitals, which are now reactivating direct air connections to China. According to tourism intelligence company Mabrian, there are three destinations that stand out for their prompt reactivation and that already exceed the number of flights in the pre-pandemic period: Budapest, Lisbon and Warsaw. Respectively, these three capitals have increased their air connectivity with China by 138%, 107% and 6% for this year compared to 2019.
At the next level down when it comes to recovering connectivity, the study places Athens, Minsk, Frankfurt, Munich, Khabarovsk, Brussels, Copenhagen and London, still with 38% below 2019 in the case of Athens, and between 50% and 63% less flights scheduled than in 2019 for the rest.
In the last group are European capitals that have reactivated their capacity the least from China. The study shows that the most traditionally visited European capitals, such as Rome, Paris and Madrid, are in this category. These four cities have volumes between 72% and 90% less than in the pre-pandemic period. An explanation for this might be the large volume of flights that they registered in 2019, thus they may take a while to recover.