Aviation

Melbourne now one step closer to China

Hannah Edensor

Melbournians can now fly direct into China, with a new air route starting June 1.

Air China has kicked off its Melbourne-Beijing direct flight, making it the only carrier flying from Australia to offer this service.

The Chinese national carrier will offer departures on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8.40pm, with inbound flights arriving in the afternoon. As of October 25, this is set to become a daily service.

The new service adds to the five times per week non-stop service from Melbourne to Shanghai, currently operated by Air China, as well as direct flights from Sydney to Beijing and Shanghai, ensuring it’s the only airline connecting Australian’s direct to China’s most popular destinations.

The decision to introduce the new direct Melbourne to Beijing service is in response to growing demand from both business and leisure travellers in both markets, with the airline predicting a capacity increase from Melbourne of 60% throughout 2015.

Air China crew happy to arrive at Melbourne Airport on the new non-stop Melbourne-Beijing service

Business and leisure passengers will enjoy the popular Airbus A330-200 for this service, with 28 flatbed Business Class seats and the 199-seat economy’s generous 32” pitch.

Air China’s Business Class passengers can also take advantage of complimentary chauffeur-driven limousine transfers in Beijing, inflight cuisine developed under the direction of a renowned Swiss chef Hans-Jorg Inauen, an extensive wine list created by French connoisseurs, and an on-arrival Lounge service in Beijing.

“Becoming the only carrier in Australia to offer direct flights to both Beijing and Shanghai is an exciting development for Air China and demonstrates growing interest in travel between the two countries,” Air China’s general manager in Melbourne Yan Han said.

Flights start from $835 per person ex Melbourne.


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