LONDON – British Airways has announced plans to resume services in China this week as the country continues to open up.
This return comes following a two-year absence from the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country.
British Airways’ relationship with China dates back to 1980 when the airline operated continuously up to the pandemic.
British Airways’ Timetable for China…
From April 23, the airline will operate daily services between Heathrow and Shanghai Pudong using flight numbers BA168/169.
British Airways will return to Beijing Daxing Airport on June 3, using flight numbers BA88/89 from Heathrow.
Below is the timetable for the airline’s return:
|Flight Number||Day of week||Departure Airport||Departure Time||Arrival Airport||Arrival Time|
|London-Shanghai Service from 23rd April 2023|
|BA169||Daily||London Heathrow||1225||Shanghai Pudong||0755^|
|BA168||Daily||Shanghai Pudong||1100||London Heathrow||1825|
|London-Beijing service from 3rd June 2023|
|BA89||Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat||London Heathrow||1505||Beijing Daxing||0935^|
|BA88||Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun||Beijing Daxing||1120||London Heathrow||1730|
Commenting on the return to China was British Airways’ Head of Sales for Asia Pacific, Noella Ferns:
“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our flights from Shanghai and Beijing.”
“We know they’ve been looking forward to reuniting with family and friends, coming to study in the UK, and resuming business between China and the UK.”
“We have an incredibly rich history of flying to mainland China, having connected the two countries for more than 40 years.”
“We look forward to resuming these routes again.”
Strong Start for British Airways in 2023…
British Airways got off to a strong start in 2023 by exceeding pre-pandemic movement levels. Let’s get into the numbers.
Based on data from RadarBox.com, British Airways has exceeded pre-pandemic levels every week in January so far.
For January 15-22, British Airways operated 770 flights, based on a seven-day rolling average provided by the flight tracking company.
This represents an increase of 93.47% compared to the same period last year and is around 87 more movements than the same period in 2019.
Below is the overall data for British Airways thus far in January:
|Date||2019 Numbers||2021 Numbers||2022 Numbers||2023 Numbers||Percentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)|
|January 1-8||642 movements||174 movements||516 movements||745 movements||+44.38%|
|January 8-15||690 movements||145 movements||433 movements||753 movements||+73.90%|
|January 15-22||683 movements||116 movements||398 movements||747 movements||+87.69%|
|January 22-29||713 movements||114 movements||394 movements||724 movements||+83.76%|
|January 29-February 5||740 movements||112 movements||444 movements||790 movements||+77.93%|
What we can see from the data is that the positive percentage differences from 2023 vs. 2022 seem to be increasing week-on-week, with no indication of how long this will last.
It’s probably to be expected that this will continue in the weeks ahead, with it probably intensifying further as we approach the Summer season.
For now, all eyes are now on British Airways to see how successful these returns will be and whether we could see frequency upgrades going into the future.