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Air China To Ground Beijing – Zurich Direct Flight From October

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Air China A330 B-5958 @ PEK

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.

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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Singapore Airlines To Bring Back The World’s Longest Non-Stop Service To JFK

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Singapore Airlines A350 Livery

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will return to New York on 9 November 2020, when it launches non-stop flights between Singapore and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Before the pandemic, Singapore Airlines host the title of flying the world’s longest flight by a whooping distance of 15,344 km between Singapore Changi and Newark Liberty airport. The airlines claims by shifting to JFK International Airport would allow them to better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic on its services to New York in the current operating climate. 


Singapore Airlines’s non-stop services to New York would also be supported by the growing number of transfer passengers who can now transit via Singapore’s Changi Airport.

SIA also anticipates significant cargo demand from a range of industries based in the New York metro area, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology firms. 

The new service will provide the only non-stop air cargo link from the U.S. Northeast to Singapore, which serves as a regional distribution hub for many major U.S.-based companies.


Singapore Airlines Business Class Onboard B787
Singapore Airlines Business Class Onboard B787

Singapore Airlines will also be operating the route with a 3-class configuration Airbus A350-900 long-range aircraft. This aircraft is configured with 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class and 187 Economy Class seats.

Today, SIA operates non-stop services to Los Angeles.

It will continue to review its operations to the United States, and assess the growing demand for air travel amid the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, before deciding to reinstate services to other points in the country.


“Operating these flights between Singapore and New York’s JFK International Airport represent an important step in the rebuilding of our global network.

Non-stop ultra-long services are the bedrock of our services to the key U.S. market. We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return.

Despite the challenging times for the airline industry, there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel.

Our customers say that they are increasingly confident about air travel, given the robust health and safety measures that are in place, as well as testing regimes to protect them and our staff.

This optimism is also driven by recent moves by countries such as Singapore, which are easing the restrictions on both transit and inbound passengers in a safe and gradual manner.”

Lee Lik Hsin, Executive Vice President Commercial for Singapore Airlines

Resuming New York Services From A New Home

Details of the flight services are shown below:

FlightFlight DaysDeparture Time*Arrival Time*Flight Time
SQ 24 SIN-JFKMon, Wed, Sat22573018 hours 5 minutes
SQ 23 JFK-SINMon, Wed, Fri22300610 (+2 days)18 hours 40 minutes
*All timings in local time

Starting on 9 November 2020, flight number SQ24 will operate from Singapore Changi Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport three-times weekly, and same return frequencies under SQ23 will be flown from 11 November 2020.

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