China Southern Airlines unveiled a regular flight route linking Beijing and London on Wednesday June 7, the latest move by Chinese airlines in expanding their overseas routes post-pandemic.
The route, which will operate seven times a week, will depart from the Beijing Daxing International Airport to London Heathrow Airport, the first direct route run by a Chinese airline between the two airports. The aircraft is expected to reach its destination in about 10 hours, according to the carrier.
Xiao Yong, deputy director general of the commercial steering committee at China Southern Airlines, has stated that the overall ticket prices at the start of the year have been 20 percent above the normal range. However, prices have now settled back toward the same levels as 2019. There still remains limited capacity on popular international routes such to the US, Australia and Europe in June.
Currently, China Southern has been able to recover its overseas flights by 40%, with 234 daily flights to overseas countries, covering 85 of the routes to South Asia and Australia.
As one of the larger air carriers that travel from China to the UK, China Southern Airlines also used to service key Chinese markets including Guangzhou, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Sanya for routes to the UK. On April 10, it resumed a daily route connecting Guangzhou with London.
Expansion in China
China Southern Airlines isn't the only airline with new routes. Other Chinese airlines have begun increasing their presence in the overseas market as the summer travel peak draws near.
From June 11 on, China Eastern Airlines will increase the operation of its Shanghai-Paris route from the previous three roundtrips per week to seven per week. China Eastern said it will welcome a further improvement for its recovery across international routes in June coinciding with the summer holidays, with routes mostly covering Japan and South Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe and Oceania in higher demand.
Beijing Daxing's Plans
Information shared by Beijing Daxing International Airport on Wednesday showed that the airport currently covers 22 overseas cities, operated by 16 airlines since the summer-autumn seasons started at the end of March. The airport plans to start other flights as well, such as to the cities of Osaka, Nagoya and Jeju flown by Juneyao Airlines.
Currently, Beijing Daxing International Airport facilitates more than 800 flights each day, transporting around 100,000 passengers.
A Qatar Airways flight from Doha landed at Beijing Daxing International Airport on March 26, marking the resumption of passenger service between the capitals of Qatar and China for the first time since the pandemic.
Beijing is the fifth gateway in China that Qatar Airways has resumed service to since the pandemic, which effectively increases the airline's operations in that market to 39 weekly flights during the peak of the summer season 2023.
The International Air Transport Association on June 5 announced an expected strengthening of airline industry profitability in an upgrade of its outlook for 2023, highlighting that the industry recovery across the Asia-Pacific is underway. Airline industry net profits are expected to reach $9.8 billion in 2023 which is more than double the previous forecast of $4.7 billion made in December 2022.
As Pressure Mounts, Boeing May be Forced to Purchase its Fuselage Supplier Spirit AeroSystems » World's First Intercity Air Taxi Flight Travels From Shenzhen to Zhuhai, Operated by AutoFlight » Southwest Airlines Launches Venture Firm for Sustainable Aviation Fuel, $30 Million Investment in Fuel Producer LanzaJet »