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Air China A330 B-5958 @ PEK Air China A330 B-5958 @ PEK

Route Network

Air China To Ground Beijing – Zurich Direct Flight From October

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After only two years of restarting the route, Air China will suspend the direct flight from Beijing-Zurich from October 14, 2019. According to the Swiss travel news platform – “Travel News” reported, learned from the tourism partners that have business dealings with Air China, Beijing direct flights operated by Air China to and from Zurich(CA781/782) will be grounded from October 14.

Maiden flight for Air China’s 50th A330
Maiden flight for Air China’s 50th A330

The news triggered speculation by the Swiss media. Many Swiss business and tourism agencies are concerned that the number of Chinese tourists may be reduced as a result.

boeing-747-884424
Boeing 747 Tail

According to data from the Swiss Tourism Board, the number of Chinese tourists staying in Switzerland in 2000 was 234,000 and soared to about 1.73 million in 2018. Chinese tourists spend an average of 380 Swiss francs per day in Switzerland, which is also the highest among foreign tourists. The analysis believes that Air China’s flight to and from Zurich will potentially lead to a shortage of passengers.

In June 2017, after several years of grounding, Air China restarted the direct flight from Beijing to Zurich. The source speculates that Air China’s reason for abandoning this direct route is related to the two air crashes of the Boeing 737MAX. In the situation of current fleet shortage, the relatively new route from Beijing to Zurich quickly became a victim.

Air China is introducing a large number of Airbus A350 passenger aircraft. Perhaps in the next two to three years, this aircraft will be used on the direct route from Beijing to Zurich again.

Also included in Air China’s winter season timetable, the Chengdu-Kunming-Yangon, Chengdu-Lhasa-Kathmandu and Hangzhou-Surat Thani routes will be discontinued as well (all starting October 27).

Air China continues to believe in the potential of the German-speaking Swiss market. However, the focus is now on the Geneva flight which operates under a joint venture agreement with the Lufthansa Group.

“Why did Air China really suspended the Zurich route?”

Although it make sense that Air China, like all other big carriers out there, it’s facing aircraft shortage due to the global grounding of B737 MAX, however the Beijing – Zurich route is a long haul route that requires a wide-body aircraft.

The route will operate til October with an Airbus A330 aircraft, out of the 59 A330s Air China currently operates, at least 22 of them are registered under operating leasing which is reaching its expiry date, Air China will have to retire them soon while finding replacement for them.

First Air China A350-900 take off
First Air China A350-900 take off

Although Air China has ordered 20 A350-900 aircraft from Airbus earlier this year, with the opening of Beijing’s new daxing international airport, Air China will soon have new time slots opening up at PEK due to China Eastern and China Southern moving its operation to the new airport (PKX), in addition, Air China ‘luckily’ got 10 prosent slots share at the new airport as well.

So the question really comes down to, why won’t Air China order more wide-body aircrafts? The A350 series is unlikely to be delivered in the short term and is now scheduled to be at least from 2020. The B787 series can’t be delivered too quickly either. It’s an unfortunate coincidence that now they even got one A330 less relating to news happened a few days ago.


On the 27th August, crew for Air China flight CA183 from Beijing to Tokyo found out that the cargo space in front of the aircraft was sending out smoke. the fire quickly spread after the plane caught fire. The upper part of the nose has been burned through and the structure of the aircraft may have been destroyed.

Air China A330 B-5958 @ PEK
Air China A330 B-5958 @ PEK

The aircraft that caught fire in this warehouse was Air China A330-300 passenger aircraft with registration number B-5958, which was introduced in December 2014. According to its flight record, the aircraft operated a round-trip flight from Beijing to Singapore today and landed at Beijing at 15:00. According to Air China’s report, the aircraft was found to have caught fire in the process of boarding the CA183 Beijing-Tokyo flight.

According to the live video circulating online, smoke has appeared on the top of the aircraft, this means that the aircraft has been burned through and the structure of the aircraft has been destroyed. The A330 cannot be repaired and may only be scrapped.

According to an announcement issued by Air China in 2016, the price of each A330 aircraft is approximately $241 million.

Albert K. Field Albert is my name, and travel the world is my game. I began my passion for travel at a very young age, I started this website as a strong means to further explore the world of frequent flyers programs (FFP). The relationship between customers and service providers in the aviation and hospitality industry always seems to be in opposition, however, since the introduction of United Airlines’ Frequent Flyers Programm since 1972*. This has significantly eased the middle spectrum between 2 parties. While the aim of airlines is still to generate more revenue; but for us,as consumers, are also given the opportunity to participate in the bargaining and exploiting from service providers. Living in a world of globalization where big data becomes vital for simulating successful economical activities, most of us will have to travel to other locations whether willingly or unwillingly, while you hearing all this fascinating stories about others, In fact, you too, can blend into the trend. It may not sound like how media illustrates, but indeed there are possibilities for us to have more spontaneous travel without getting held back by financial situation. My website consists of reviews of airline premium cabin products,airport lounges and stay reports of 5-star hotels and their executive lounges across the globe. In addition to all of that, I care the most about their frequent flyers program and loyalty program, which also includes banking partners. Plus, I spontaneously put up reviews and news update regarding premium water brands and restaurants. The purpose of this website is to share all of this information with my audience as well as inviting you to be part of my journey.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. John I

    September 4, 2019 at 10:24 am

    yeah like Air China won’t have the money for it

    • Enhance HU

      September 4, 2019 at 10:25 am

      They are waiting for Hainan airlines to bankrupt and they get all this new planes for cheap, smirk

  2. Justin

    October 16, 2019 at 10:57 am

    thats what happens when u focus too much on safety by cutting meal service on 90 percent of your domestic flights

  3. DH

    March 23, 2020 at 10:29 am

    The irony is Swiss is so hardly affected by corona now, I mean who would know AIR CHINA was preparing for this way ahead. Well,,,

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Route Network

SAS To Join ANA With Tokyo Operation Shift To Haneda

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SAS A350 With New Livery, Courtesy of SAS

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) earlier today came out with a statement that they will shift their Copenhagen – Narita service to Haneda. The route will gives travellers access to downtown Tokyo directly with 30 domestic codeshare destinations with its Star Alliance partner All Nippon Airways (ANA). The metropolitan area of Tokyo has two international airports are looking to increase Japan’s tourist numbers by adding significantly more international flights ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Japan’s biggest airport, Haneda, is more ideally located for business travellers and the airport is set to add 50 international routes per day as, starting in late March 2020, the government of Japan for the first time will allow aircraft to fly over central Tokyo during the day.

SAS New Livery, Courtesy Of SAS
SAS New Livery. Courtesy Of SAS

The direct Copenhagen-Haneda route will be served by SAS’ brand new Airbus A350 aircraft. As the most environmental-friendly airplane on the market, the A350 will reduce emissions by 30 percent compared to earlier generations of similar long-haul aircraft.

“Japan is already a very popular destination, and this will provide a positive boost for our travellers, both in relation to business travel and tourism. The new service offers an attractive timetable to Haneda and we hope it will be well received and appreciated by our travellers throughout Scandinavia and Japan, SAS looks forward to the opportunity to serve Haneda from summer season 2020 in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With this initiative, SAS aims to support Olympic athletes in the national teams of Denmark, Norway and Sweden in their quest for Olympic success

Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO, SAS.

There is a large Scandinavian common market with a strong interest in Japan, both for leisure and business travel. The route is particularly well timed as SAS is in a unique cross border partnership with the three national Scandinavian Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committees and will be their principal airline partner during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

SAS A350 Business Cabin, Courtesy Of SAS
SAS A350 Business Cabin. Courtesy Of SAS

  • Additional cities (Istanbul, Milan, Moscow, Shenzhen and Stockholm) are part of the 12 new routes ANA will serve out of Haneda Airport starting in 2020.
  • ANA will also be increasing the frequency of the Haneda – Los Angeles and Haneda – Sydney route in 2020.
  • The routes are part of ANA’s dual hub strategy to enhance its international network as Tokyo metropolitan airports continue to expand.

The two international airports had different roles when Narita first opened in 1978, Haneda was focused on domestic service while both ANA and JAL had to move their entire long-haul network til Narita. But since the opening of a fourth runway in 2010, the government of Japan has been gradually approve more international service from Haneda, with Narita will continue to serve more long-haul routes than Haneda, for legacy carriers like ANA and JAL, Haneda will become ever more important for capturing business travellers who are less price sensitive.

ANA will shift its U.S. destinations of San Jose, California, and Washington to Haneda with new destinations like San Francisco, Milan and Istanbul be added. This will shift ANA’s long haul operation to be more focused at Haneda. More capacity between Japan and Scandinavia will be added in spring 2020 when All Nippon Airways opens a new route between Haneda and Stockholm.

Shinjuku Skyline Courtesy Of SAS
Shinjuku skyline at sunset taken from Shibuya, Tokio. Courtesy Of SAS

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Route Network

Urumqi Airlines To Add 3 New Destinations From China To Nagoya, Japan

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Urumqi Air's First COMAC ARJ-21-700

From December 30, Urumqi Airlines plans to open two new international routes from Urumqi to Nagoya, Japan. With the opening of Urumqi(URC) – Wuhan(WUH) – Nagoya(NGO) from the 30th of December, with flights scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; Urumqi(URC) – Jinan(JNA) – Nagoya(NGO) route will be opened on December 31 for every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. The route is the second and third international scheduled routes opened by Urumqi Airlines. The opening of this international route indicates that Urumqi Airlines will further accelerate the pace of international route network build-up, and is these route layout is significant for Urumqi Airlines to create a “connected Eurasian” network.

Urumqi Air Deploys Majorly The All Economy Configuration 186 Pax B737-800
Urumqi Air Deploys Majorly The All Economy Configuration 186 Pax B737-800

In the past, citizens of Urumqi and surrounding areas traveling to and from central Japan required transit in cities such as Xi’an and Beijing, which took a lot of time. After the opening of the route, Xinjiang passengers only need 9 hours to reach central Japan, which greatly reduces the travel time and travel costs of passengers. In addition, the route connects the two secondary aviation hubs of Wuhan and Jinan in China, enriching the routes and time options for passengers from the two places and surrounding provinces and cities to Japan. At the same time, the opening of the route provides a more convenient air channel for economic and trade exchanges and cultural exchanges between these cities.


The flights from Urumqi (URC) to Nagoya (NGO) via Wuhan (WUH) will operate with the following schedule starting on December 30, 2019:

  • UQ2657 / URC – WUH / 7:05AM – 11:25AM (Mon, Wed & Fri)
  • UQ2657 / WUH – NGO / 1:05PM – 5:15PM (Mon, Wed & Fri)
  • UQ2658 / NGO – WUH / 6:45PM – 10:05PM (Mon, Wed & Fri)
  • UQ2658 / WUH – URC / 11:55PM – 4:20AM (Fri, slightly different on Mon & Wed)

The flights operating via Jinan (TNA) will operate from December 31, 2019, with the following schedule:

  • UQ2659 / URC – TNA / 7:30AM – 12:00PM (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
  • UQ2659 / TNA – NGO / 1:30PM – 5:15PM (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
  • UQ2660 / NGO – TNA / 6:45PM – 9:15PM (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
  • UQ2660 / TNA – URC / 11:50PM – 4:30AM+1 (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)

None of the flights between Urumqi and Nagoya will be non-stop and it would still be difficult to foster them in the future, as there are currently 10 other Chinese carriers serving flights to Nagoya from 23 cities in mainland China. As for the two routes Urumqi Air is serving from Wuhan and Jinan, both airports are already served by other Chinese carriers who are competing on the same route, with Shandong Airlines serving Jinan and Nagoya 3 times weekly and China Southern serving Wuhan – Nagoya with twice weekly as well.

Urumqi Air B-1569 At BoAo Airport, China
Urumqi Air B-1569 At BoAo Airport, China

From 1st April earlier this year, Urumqi Airlines implemented service differentiation and customisation on its entire flight network which divided baggage allowance and meal policies into four different classes, with baggage allowance ranging from 10kg to 30kg and after the new implementation, meal service for flights within three hours will be cancelled, with more snack options being added for purchase.

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