Back to Beijing! British Airways restarts flights to Chinese capital

A British Airways flight touches down in Beijing.
Photo Credit: British Airways

British Airways’ first flight from London to Beijing in more than three years touched down at Beijing Daxing Airport yesterday.

This becomes national flag carrier British Airways’ first passenger flight between the two cities since January 2020, when the route was suspended due to the pandemic.

The resumption reclaims the airline’s exclusivity as the only British carrier operating a direct service between Beijing and the United Kingdom. The airline previously operated regular scheduled flight services to Beijing since November 1980.

Service resumption

Flights will operate four-times-a-week between Beijing and London, departing Daxing Airport on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

BA88 Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun Beijing Daxing 1120 London Heathrow 1730
BA89 Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat London Heathrow 1505 Beijing Daxing 0935

British Airways and joint business partner China Southern both operate from Daxing, giving customers greater connectivity between the UK and China, with easier transfers, a wider choice of onward flights and enhanced benefits.

To celebrate the long-awaited moment, Louise Street, British Airways’ Director of Worldwide Airports welcomed the inaugural flight, greeting customers and crew as they disembarked.


Louise Street, said: “The restart of one of our most important routes after more than three years is a long-awaited moment for all of us at British Airways.”

“Following the successful resumption of flights between Shanghai and London in April, we’re excited to be back in Beijing too, reuniting families and friends and facilitating international student and business travel once again.”

“We are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with our joint business partner China Southern, to provide wider transit options and various benefits to our customers in China and the UK.”

Aircraft configuration

Customers travelling between the two cities can enjoy the airline’s newly designed Club Suite (business class) cabin, with direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The cabin interior boasts 40 per cent more storage and includes fittings like a vanity unit and mirror. Luxurious new furnishings are topped with a plush new pillow and a warm quilt from The White Company and new amenity kits.

In-flight entertainment services include WiFi access and impressive 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens. High-definition gate-to-gate programming and PC / USB power is also provided.

Back to Beijing

British Airways has operated a regular passenger service to Beijing since November 1980. The inaugural flight took off from London Heathrow Airport on 12 November 1980, flying 18 hours with stops in Bahrain and Hong Kong.

The service was initially operated using Boeing 747 aircraft, but was later upgraded to Airbus A340 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

In 2013, British Airways launched a direct service from London Heathrow to Beijing Daxing International Airport. The new service was operated using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and reduced the flying time between London and Beijing to 12 hours.

Historically, British Airways’ flight services to Beijing have played a significant role in the development of trade and tourism between the UK and China.

The flights have made it easier and more convenient for people to travel between the two countries, and have helped to boost economic and cultural ties.

With the reintroduction of flight services, the national flag carrier retains its crown as the only UK airline to offer a direct service to Beijing.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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