Air China launches direct flights from Istanbul to Beijing

Air China launches direct flights from Istanbul to Beijing

Air China is establishing a new direct flight service to Istanbul before Christmas. This will be the second new connection from mainland China to Turkey in the past three months. In this context, Air China’s direct connection between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Istanbul Airport (IST) will start on December 29. According to the information provided by the relevant authorities, an Airbus A330-200 will operate three times a week on this route.

Air China’s entry into this market follows China Eastern Airlines, which has been operating three flights to Istanbul from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) since September 28, following the signing of an agreement by Sky Team members with Turkish Airlines for closer cooperation.

The flights will commence before the end of the year, making Air China the third carrier to connect Beijing and Istanbul directly. Turkish Airlines, a Star Alliance partner, already operates a daily PEK-IST connection with Boeing-330ER aircraft. China Southern Airlines also connects these two destinations by operating three A330s per week between Beijing Daxing International Airport and IST.

From 2024 onwards, Air China will provide approximately 1,422 seats per week round-trip between the two cities, increasing its own passenger capacity by 17.7 percent. In this context, Turkish Airlines has the largest share of passenger capacity with 61 percent, while China Southern holds the remaining 21.3 percent. In total, around 8,000 passengers per week will be carried between Istanbul and Beijing in both directions, exceeding the pre-pandemic level by 22 percent.

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