Air China will commence Beijing-Mumbai nonstop service on 25 October 2015. As the forthcoming only service from Mainland China to Mumbai – the economic capital of the country – the airline said the seven hour non-stop will negate the need for stopovers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.
As two BRICS countries, China and India have long had close political, economic and people exchanges and in recent years, inbound and outbound travellers of the two countries have been on the rise. From January to November 2014, bilateral trade volume experienced a nine per cent year-on-year increase, while in September of the same year, the two countries released a joint declaration on exploring new areas of cooperation through strategic economic dialogue and cultural exchanges.
“The new Beijing-Mumbai service will go a way towards meeting the ever increasing market demand for air services in the fields of economy, trade, tourism, culture and people exchanges,” Air China said.
In 2015, Air China is continuing to build its world-spanning route network with its hub in Beijing and, at the same time, with the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative promoted by the Chinese government. The carrier recently announced its in mind, has started and will start more routes serving the countries along the “One Belt, One Road”. Examples of the routes include Beijing-Minsk-Budapest opened in the first half of the year and Beijing-Islamabad-Karachi, Beijing-Kuala Lumpur, Beijing-Colombo, Beijing-Johannesburg and Beijing-Addis Ababa to be opened this October.
In this new era when China and the countries along the “One Belt, One Road” are jointly mapping out the future for the six major economic corridors, Air China’s Beijing – Mumbai service is an important part of the endeavour to build the Bangladesh-China -India-Myanmar Corridor, it said. The service will increase the Asian-Pacific destinations Air China serves to 17 and bring the number of nonstop flights between China and India up to eight a week.
This year, Air China continues to build its international presence by starting more international routes and in addition to the two new routes to Africa, Air China also started a Chengdu-Colombo service in February, Hangzhou-Osaka service in March, Tianjin-Dalian-Sapporo in April, Beijing-Minsk-Budapest in May, Beijing-Melbourne nonstop service in June and Beijing-Hakodate in July. In July Air China Cargo (Air China’s all-cargo joint venture with Cathay Pacific) announced a new maindeck service to North America from 3 September utilising B777Fs six flights a week Shanghai-Edmonton-Dallas-Edmonton-Shanghai Edmonton.