British Airways Resumes Flights to Beijing

DALLAS – Now China has removed travel restrictions for air travelers, many European airlines are resuming services to the country. British Airways (BA) has become the latest to resume its flights between London-Heathrow (LHR) and Beijing (PKX).

After serving Beijing since November 1980, the carrier was forced to temporarily suspend its flights between the capital cities due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a three-year-long hiatus, flight BA88 returned to the schedule on June 3, 2023, to Beijing’s new Daxing Airport (PKX).

Louise Street, BA’s Director of Worldwide Airports, said, “The restart of one of our most important routes after more than three years is a long-awaited moment for all of us. Following the successful resumption of flights between Shanghai and London in April, we’re excited to be back in Beijing too, reuniting families and friends and facilitating international student and business travel once again.”

Now, passengers will enjoy seamless connectivity between the city pairs thanks to the four-weekly flight operated by British Airways and the daily frequency served by partner China Southern Airlines (CZ), which began in March 2023.

The Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 fleet of British Airways is equipped with the Club Suite business class cabin, improving overall privacy and comfort on long-haul flights. Photo: British Airways.

British Airways’ New Club Suite

Flights BA88 and BA89 are operated by the British Airways Boeing 777 fleet, which has been selected to feature the newly designed Club Suite Business Class cabin. The new premium product offers passengers a new seat with direct aisle access, suite doors, and fully flat beds to experience a more private and comfortable journey.

As well as boasting 40% more storage, the seats include a vanity unit and mirror, plus high-speed Wi-Fi and an 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screen to enjoy the best movies in the highest resolution.

Passengers will also find the Club Suite product on the recently incorporated Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, with 56 total seats available in the cabin, which can carry more than 330 passengers along the three classes.

British Airways Airbus A350-1000 (G-XWBB). Photo: Yifei Yu/Airways.

Flights to China are Back to Normal

Flying to China over the last three years was a challenging task. The country applied strict restrictions not only to its inhabitants but also to travelers wanting to enter the country in an attempt to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Only a handful of Chinese carriers operated flights to the primary connection centers in Europe and North America to keep the market alive and allow the crucial sector of passengers to fly to and from China. 

However, the Chinese government has finally lowered the restrictions, and airlines are resuming services to China.

On April 23, British Airways resumed flights to the mainland for the first time since 2020 to Shanghai-Pu Dong (PVG) and announced the relaunch of Beijing flights for June 3. 

Other carriers such as Swiss (LX) and KLM (KL) have also started to fly again to the country to maintain connectivity to this significant destination from all countries in the world through their Zurich (ZRH) and Amsterdam (AMS) hubs, respectively.

Featured image: The British Airways Boeing 777-200ER is one of the oldest airframes in the fleet; 23 years old on average. Photo: Johann Heske/Airways.

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