Air China is ramping up its flights between Melbourne and Beijing with the launch of a new, non-stop service four times each week from June – giving the airline at least one flight each day between Victoria and either Beijing or Shanghai.
Running on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from June 1 and slated to become daily from October 25, CA166 pushes back at 8:40pm in Melbourne to reach Beijing’s Capital Airport at 6:30am the following morning.
On the return, CA165 departs at 2am on the same calendar days before landing in Melbourne at 3:30pm that afternoon.
The current CA178/177 services from Melbourne to Beijing via Shanghai, running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, will instead terminate in Shanghai from the same date.
Passengers can then connect to Beijing as they currently do by catching an onward Air China flight, albeit with a different flight number.
"China is our number one long-haul market and in 2014 alone, passengers between Australia and China grew by more than 20 per cent," said Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff.
"The new service means travellers will no longer have to travel through Shanghai, providing more choice and more convenience."
Whichever flight you choose, you’ll be travelling on a twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft with lie-flat beds, individual AC power outlets and either a 12.1” or a 15.1” personal AVOD entertainment system in business class, configured in a 2-2-2 layout:
Or if you’re stuck in economy, you’ll have 32 inches from headrest to headrest, with one AC power outlet shared between every two seats and a personal 9” inflight entertainment screen in the seatback ahead of you – set in a 2-4-2 arrangement and reducing to 2-3-2 towards the rear.
As a Star Alliance airline, Virgin Australia frequent flyers can earn Velocity points on Air China flights by first crediting their miles to Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer scheme and then converting them into Velocity points.
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