Air China Adds Additional International Routes

Chinese national flag carrier Air China announced on Friday that it was planning to operate 24 international routes…

Air China Adds Additional International Routes

Chinese national flag carrier Air China announced on Friday that it was planning to operate 24 international routes during June. In a statement posted on its website, the Beijing-based airline said that it was adding additional flights on top of those flown in May. The two new routes will link Beijing with the Spanish capital Madrid and the Philippine capital of Manila. Flights to and from Beijing to Madrid will now arrive and depart from Terminal 4 rather than Terminal 1.

Air China adds Madrid and Manila to its June flights. Photo: Getty Images

To curtail the number of people infected with the coronavirus from entering the country Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) announced in March that it would limit the number of international flights. These measures restricted Chinese airlines by allowing only one flight between China and another country. For example, if you flew multiple flights from China to, say, Canada, you would now have to choose between Toronto and Vancouver. In addition to the one destination in a country rule, airlines were only permitted to fly one international flight per week.

Air China International destinations June 2020

According to the Air China statement starting from June 1 through July 1, Air China will fly to the following destination from Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu.

Flights to North America

All Air China flights to North America will link Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) with Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Flights to Europe

Flights to Europe will link Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) with Paris, Copenhagen, Minsk, Madrid, Stockholm, Warsaw, Vienna, Moscow, Athens, Frankfurt, and London. Air China will also fly from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) to Frankfurt and London.

Air China planes parked in Beijing
Air China is the Chinese national flag carrier. Photo: Getty Images

Flights in Asia

Air China will fly to the following Asian destination from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) during June.

Phnom Penh, Yangon, Delhi, Dubai, Islamabad, Karachi, Bangkok,  Manila, and Seoul. From Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Air China will operate one flight to Tokyo. From Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU), Air China will fly to Kathmandu and Singapore.

Aeroflot plane at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport
Passengers traveling from Russia to China must prove they have tested negative for COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

People traveling from Russia to China must test for COVID-19

According to Business Traveller, Air China requires passengers who are returning from Russia to prove they tested negative for COVID-19. If a passenger cannot provide documentation that they have been tested, they will not be allowed to board the plane.

Traveling to China this summer could be difficult

People looking to visit China this summer may still experience difficulties getting in and out of the country. This follows the extension of a policy that limited the number of flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. As we can see in the Air China June schedule, only two new destinations have been added to its international route network. Concerning foreign airlines, several have submitted requests to return flying to China in June but have not received approval.
The CAAC has told airlines that they need to submit their flight plans two months in advance. This means that if an airline is looking to fly to China in August, they must provide a schedule to the Chinese authorities in June.

The United States is accusing China of stopping American carriers from flying to China. Photo: Getty Images

What does not help matters is the fact that China and the United States are embroiled in several disputes that have the Americans saying that China is stalling when it comes to allowing United States carriers to fly to China.

Have you ever flown with Air China? If so, we would love to hear what you thought of them in the comments section.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Virgin Atlantic May Not Fly Until August

Following the announcement on Friday of a 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone arriving in the UK from June…

Virgin Atlantic May Not Fly Until August

Following the announcement on Friday of a 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone arriving in the UK from June 8th, Virgin Atlantic says it does not intend to resume flights until “August at the earliest.”

Virgin Atlantic may not fly again until August due to the UK’s new quarantine requirements. Photo: Getty Images

While it has been turbulent times, to say the least, for all of commercial aviation, the Virgin brand has had a very rough few months. While Virgin Australia entered administration just over a month ago, Virgin Atlantic has sought both government assistance and investors in a bid to keep it from insolvency long enough to get back to flying and making some revenue.

Unwelcome quarantine news

The announcements made by the UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, on Friday that any traveler arriving in the UK from June 8th would need to self-isolate for two weeks did not constitute welcome news for Virgin Atlantic.

The struggling airline says that the government’s approach to obligatory self-isolation upon arrival will hinder its flights from resuming for another two months. As reported by Business Traveller,

“We are continually reviewing our flying programme and with these restrictions, there simply won’t be sufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest,” a spokesperson for the airline told the publication.

Virgin atlantic livery
Virgin is calling for the government to apply different measures than quarantine to resume successful international air travel. Photo: Getty Images

Requesting a different approach

The Virgin Atlantic spokesperson further stated that air travel would be a vital enabler for the recovery of the country’s economy post-crisis. The government should, therefore, implement,

“…a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses.”

Presumably, the airline would prefer it if none of those layers consisted of quarantine-upon-arrival regulations.

Virgin Atlantic not resuming flights until August
Virgin Atlantic’s first aircraft model, the 747, will no longer be part of the fleet when it returns to service. Photo: Getty Images

A different airline returning

When Virgin Atlantic does return to the skies, it will not be doing so out of its previous base at Gatwick Airport, which it has called home ever since it first took flight 36 years ago. For now, it will focus its operations out of Heathrow and Manchester. Gatwick itself said it would welcome the carrier back with open arms, should it change its mind when demand returns.

More ties to the carrier’s earliest days are being severed as it has sent the last of its remaining Boeing 747s into retirement. Recently, sad footage emerged showing one of its kind being taken apart by recycling specialists in Wales. More than aircraft, the airline is also planning to cut 3,000 jobs, which constitutes nearly a third of its workforce.

Will more airlines delay resumptions?

Virgin Atlantic rival British Airways was planning for a return to a more substantial service offering in July. It intends to operate 45% of flights from July to September. However, with the new regulations, which will result in fines of up to £1,000 ($1,218) for failure to comply, we might see a recalibration of schedules.

Do you think the new UK quarantine rules will push other carriers to delay flight resumptions? Let us know in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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