British Airways Suspends Flights To Mainland China

British Airways has suspended its daily flights from London Heathrow to Beijing and Shanghai until mid-April 2020.

London Air Travel » Beijing

Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has suspended all flights from London Heathrow airport to mainland China.

This follows UK Government advice against all but essential travel to mainland China in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

BA has suspended its daily service to Beijing Daxing International airport (flights BA39/BA38) and Shanghai Pu Dong International airport (flights BA169/BA168).

BA currently plans to resume flights from London Heathrow to Shanghai on Saturday 18 April 2019. 

Flights will initially operate three times weekly, from Heathrow on Monday, Thursday and Saturday until Sunday 31 May 2020. The return operates to Heathrow on the next day.

BA also plans to resume flights from London Heathrow to Beijing Daxing on Sunday 19 April 2019. Flights will initially operate four times weekly, from Heathrow on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday until 31 May 2020. The return operates to Heathrow on the next day.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund, or to rebook to a later date.

BA is also re-accommodating passengers on its alliance and codeshare partners such as Finnair, China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways. However, it should be noted that Finnair has substantially reduced its flights to China.

Hong Kong

BA will continue to fly to Hong Kong once daily up to Monday 1 June.

Passengers due to travel to Hong Kong up to Sunday 31 May 2020 can either rebook to a later date or obtain a full refund.

However, if you are due to transit through Hong Kong to an international destination, such as in Australia, you cannot re-route via another hub, such as Singapore.

Passengers who are originally booked to travel to/from mainland China can also rebook to/from Hong Kong. However, any consequential costs will be at passengers’ expense.

However, for passengers intending to travel on to mainland China, BA’s Oneworld alliance and codeshare partner Cathay Pacific has also significantly reduced flights to mainland China by in excess of 50%.

Cathay Pacific has also advised that the in-flight service on flights between Hong Kong and mainland China will be temporarily modified with a truncated meal service in all classes. Amenities such as hot towels and blankets will also not be offered.

Given the fluid nature of the situation, the scope and length of cancellations may be extended.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com and should contact BA or their travel agent.

BA adds new amenities to Beijing, Shanghai, & Hong Kong flights

London Air Travel » Beijing

New amenities for British Airways flights between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong
New amenities for British Airways flights between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

British Airways is to add additional in-flight amenities and services to passengers travelling between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Passengers travelling in World Traveller Plus and Club World will be offered slippers. Passengers travelling in all cabins will be offered Twinings green tea, the option of chopsticks for eating meals and bilingual menus.

In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly small changes. It’s also not unusual for BA to offer additional in flight amenities on certain routes for cultural reasons. Slippers have long been offered on flights to Tokyo and bilingual menus are common on many routes.

However, it does point to an effort to do better in China where BA has had mixed success. BA’s route from London Heathrow to Chengdu was suspended this month and BA faces very strong competition from Cathay Pacific on the London – Hong Kong route.

Finnair special business class fares to Beijing, Chongqing, Dehli, and Xi’an

London Air Travel » Beijing

Finnair Aircraft
Finnair Aircraft (Image Credit: Finnair)

Finnair has today, 23 February 2015, launched a business class sale for travel to Beijing, Chongqing, Dehli, and Xi’an via its hub in Helsinki.

Fares range from £999 to £1,399.

Bookings must be made by 5 March 2015 for travel between 7 April and 21 June 2015. There is also a minimum stay of either six nights or a Saturday night.

Continue reading “Finnair special business class fares to Beijing, Chongqing, Dehli, and Xi’an”

Finnair unveils routes and cabins for Airbus A350 aircraft

London Air Travel » Beijing

Finnair Airbus A350 Business class cabin
Finnair Airbus A350 Business class cabin

Over the past fifteen years, Finnair has been steadily, but surely, building a niche as the European airline that provides the most efficient link between Europe and Asia via its hub in Helsinki.

In 2000, Finnair served just three destinations in Asia. Now, it serves 15 destinations. Finnair also serves a number of cities without direct links to London including Chongqing and Xi’an in China and Nagoya and Osaka in Japan.

Unfortunately, this has yet to translate into long term profitability for the airline. On Friday, Finnair joined the list of European airlines to issue a profit warning.

However, the airline is committed to its strategy and aims to double revenues from Asia by 2020. This week, Finnair revealed the interiors for its new Airbus A350 aircraft which will replace its quad-engine Airbus A340 aircraft and ply routes from Helsinki to Asia from mid 2015.

The airline has 11 firm orders for Airbus A350 aircraft, and a further 8 options.

The aircraft will initially be deployed on flights to Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing in 2015. Hong Kong and Singapore will be served by the A350 in 2016.

In business class, Finnair has opted for the Zodiac Cirrus III seat which American Airlines (Boeing 777-300 flights only), Air France and Cathay Pacific have also adopted.

This seat provides both a fully flat bed and direct aisle access for all passengers, which is increasingly becoming standard for business class cabins. Finnair’s seat will also include touchscreen in flight entertainment and AC and USB power sockets. There will be a total of 46 seats in the cabin.

Continue reading “Finnair unveils routes and cabins for Airbus A350 aircraft”

Where is Flight MH370 asks BBC2’s “Horizon”

London Air Travel » Beijing

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on 8 March 2014 continues to be one of the greatest aviation mysteries in recent times.

In spite of the fact that more than three months have passed since the loss of the aircraft, its black box has yet to be located.

Furthermore, whilst it was thought that the aircraft was lost in the southern Indian Ocean, this has now been discounted after an extensive search operation.

On Tuesday 17 June 2014, BBC2’s Horizon tells what it claims to be the inside story of the search for flight MH370, with access to those on the frontline in the southern Indian Ocean and the British satellite engineers who tracked the plane’s final hours.

The film reveals how MH370 disappeared in a radar blind spot; what investigators believe happened to the aircraft in its last minutes; and how the area in which it could be found is still to be searched.

Horizon also examines the new technologies, like black box streaming and enhanced air traffic surveillance, that mean an airliner should never vanish without trace again.

MH370 – A special by Monocle 24’s “The Foreign Desk”

London Air Travel » Beijing

In the three weeks that have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 much of the media coverage has been of highly variable quality.

With so few facts but insatiable demand from audiences (CNN in North America has doubled its audience in its main demographic by devoting near blanket coverage to the story), news organisations have had to rely heavily on speculation and guess work.

Continue reading “MH370 – A special by Monocle 24’s “The Foreign Desk””