Air China will introduce first class on its Sydney-Beijing flights over the peak Australian summer travel period.
That’s made possible by the airline switching its usual Airbus A330 bird with the grander Boeing 777-300ER, which is set to happen from December 11 2014 through to March 5 2015.
From Sydney, CA174 takes to the skies at 9:00pm, touching down in Beijing at 5:50am the following morning.
On the return, CA173 pushes back at 5:00pm, reaching Sydney at 7:40am the next day.
First class fares are now available to the Chinese capital during the Boeing 777's reign:
From Beijing, Sydney travellers can connect onwards to London Heathrow, with Air China ramping up to double-daily flights between its Beijing Hub and the U.K. capital from October.
Whether you take CA937 or CA855 onwards from Beijing to London, travellers with an Australian passport can also now enjoy a visa-free transit in China.
That means you could use your stopover time in Beijing to head into town for a meeting or even a touch of sightseeing before making your way onwards to London later that afternoon, which certainly beats spending the day in the confines of the airport.
The move comes as Thai Airways is set to scrap first class to Sydney – and Australia – from October.
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