British Airways Announces China Service Resumption

British Airways to return to China.
Photo Credit: Jacob Jones/AviationSource

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…

Photo Credit: Jacob Jones/AviationSource

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 NumberDay of weekDeparture AirportDeparture TimeArrival AirportArrival Time 
London-Shanghai Service from 23rd April 2023 
BA169DailyLondon Heathrow1225Shanghai Pudong0755^ 
BA168DailyShanghai Pudong1100London Heathrow1825 
London-Beijing service from 3rd June 2023 
BA89Mon, Tue, Thu, SatLondon Heathrow1505Beijing Daxing0935^ 
BA88Tue, Wed, Fri, SunBeijing Daxing1120London Heathrow1730 
^ = arrives 1 day later. Source: British Airways

Executive Comments…

British Airways Boeing 787-10.
Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

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 returns to China.
Photo Credit: Jacob Jones/AviationSource

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, British Airways has exceeded pre-pandemic levels every week in January so far.

Data provided by

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:

Date2019 Numbers2021 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
January 1-8642 movements174 movements516 movements745 movements+44.38%
January 8-15690 movements145 movements433 movements753 movements+73.90%
January 15-22683 movements116 movements398 movements747 movements+87.69%
January 22-29713 movements114 movements394 movements724 movements+83.76%
January 29-February 5740 movements112 movements444 movements790 movements+77.93%
Data from

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.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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