BEIJING, Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Air China will start Beijing-Johannesburg nonstop service on October 29, 2015, which will be the first air link offered by a Chinese carrier between Mainland China and South Africa and also Air China's first route to Africa. The service will spare Chinese travelers to South Africa the trouble of having to make a transfer en route. With a 14-hour flight, travelers can get to the southernmost point of the African continent to explore the amazing and mysterious Africa.
Founded in 1886, Johannesburg is South Africa's biggest city. Located in the world's biggest gold zone and the epicenter of South Africa's economic activities, Johannesburg accounts for around half of South Africa's industrial output and has earned its reputation as the "City of Gold." It boasts Africa's primitive savannah, but also is at the cutting edge of world trends. The Johannesburg Zoo, Bird Protection Center and diamond factories are always on the to-visit list of visitors. Travelers can also be treated to the dances of the hospitable locals.
Spearheading the economy of Africa, South Africa accounts for about one third of Africa's GDP. It is also China's biggest trading partner in Africa. Currently, approximately 1.2 million Chinese live in South Africa. The latest statistics from Chinese customs suggest that in 2014, the China-Africa important and export volume amounted to USD 221.88 billion, hitting an all-time high, up 5.5% over the previous year.
The origins of the friendly China-Africa relationship go back to the ancient Silk Road of dynastic China's Qin (221-207 BC) and Han (202 BC-220 AD) periods. Today, the "One Belt, One Road" initiative proposed by the Chinese government will bring new opportunities of cooperation between China and Africa. Air China's forthcoming Beijing-Johannesburg service will be a "Silk Road in the Air" and a new bridge of international cooperation, bringing Asia and Africa closer and facilitating the exchanges between China and Africa.
2015 marks the year when Air China returns to Africa. Back in the 1970's, Air China started its nonstop service to Africa. This year coincides with the South Africa-China Year. Johannesburg will be the first destination Air China will begin to serve on October 29, after many years of absence from the African market, and the new service will further solidify the political, economic and cultural exchanges between China and Africa. This year, Air China will also start Beijing-Addis Ababa service. The two routes are part of Air China's endeavor to build its global route network with its hub in Beijing, and make it easier for travelers from countries like China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore to travel to and from South Africa and Africa as a whole and offer additional flight options for travelers.
This year, Air China continues to build its international presence by starting more international routes. The year 2015 will be one in which the carrier starts the largest number of new routes. In addition to the above two new routes to Africa, Air China also started Chengdu-Colombo service in February, Hangzhou-Osaka service in March, Tianjin-Dalian-Sapporo service in April, Beijing-Minsk-Budapest in May, Beijing-Melbourne nonstop service in June and Beijing-Hakodate service in July. These new services have made Air China one of the few carriers in the world that served all the six continents and the only Chinese carrier that does so.
About the flights
The flights CA867/8 Beijing-Johannesburg are to be operated on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday (outbound) and on Monday/Wednesday/Friday (inbound). The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 23:15 Beijing time, and arrives in Johannesburg at 7:35 local time on the following day. The inbound flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:50 local time and arrives in Beijing at 7:30 Beijing time. The flights are to be operated with Boeing 777-300ER, an aircraft type quite popular with the world's business travelers. Its First Class and Business Class are outfitted with full-flat seats and a central bar. All classes of service offer personal AVOD, power outlets, accessible toilets for the disabled and a mood lighting system which can mimic the sunrise to sunset, guaranteeing a truly pleasant journey for passengers.
About Air China
Air China is China's only national flag carrier and a member carrier of the world's largest airline network - Star Alliance.
By Jul 2015, Air China had a fleet of 523 passenger aircraft and freighters of mainly Boeing and Airbus families (including those of the carriers which Air China has a majority stake in). It operates 349 routes, including 87 international routes, 16 regional routes and 246 domestic routes. It serves 168 cities in 35 countries and regions, including 58 international cities, 4 regional cities and 106 domestic cities. Every week, Air China offers over 1.47 million seats on over 7700 flights per week.
Utilizing its extensive route network and its hub in Beijing, especially after its admission to the Star Alliance, Air China can fly passengers to 1,328 airports in 195 countries.
PhoenixMiles, Air China's customer loyalty program created in 1994, is Asia's only frequent flyer program shared by a number of carriers.
Air China's customer service philosophy revolves around four elements: credibility, convenience, comfort, and choice. Hard work over the years has resulted in a tremendous increase in Air China's brand value. In 2013, Air China ranked again as one of the world's top 500 brands with a brand value of RMB 91.899 billion, and was the only Chinese carrier on the World Brands 500 list.
For more, visit Air China's official website www.airchina.com or call Air China's hotline 95583.
SOURCE Air China