• Written by Lisha Dittberner

The Premier of Victoria, Australia, the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, was in Beijing at Air China's headquarters. The Vice President of Air China, Mr. Wang Ming Yuan, welcomed Mr. Andrews and members of his delegation.

Relations between China and Australia have been strengthened with the signing of a Free Trade Agreement in November last year. CHAFTA will see a growth in cooperation and exchange between the two countries in government relations, trade, business and cultural activities. Over the course of 2015, Air China will increase its capacity from Melbourne by 60%, the largest increase in a single year since Air China first entered the Australian market 30 years ago.

Air China announced that a daily direct service between Beijing and Melbourne will commence on October 25th, 2015. Air China is the only carrier to offer a direct service between Melbourne and Beijing. It also operates a non-stop service from Melbourne to Shanghai four times a week.

Both routes are operated by the latest Airbus A330-200 aircraft offering 28 lie-flat bed business class seats and 199 economy class seats with a generous seat pitch of 32”.

The direct services connect Air China customers to Beijing and Shanghai, two signature cities in China, and from there to Air China's extensive domestic network. The airline also has the largest capacity to Europe and North America from China, with passengers having a choice of 24 daily flights to 16 Europe cities, 12 daily flights to 8 North America cities and 30 daily flights to 12 Japanese and South Korean cities.

Air China business class travelers can enjoy a complimentary chauffeur-driven limousine service in Beijing and eight other major cities in China as well as on-arrival Lounge service with shower and changing room facilities. Air China also offers one of the most generous baggage allowances of any airline flying from Australia to China, Europe, Japan and North America.

Air China's cargo capacity will significantly increase as well, in line with its strategic support for Victorian and Australian suppliers. The airline has forged close ties with local producers of agriculture, dairy and other products who are keen to access the Chinese market. Air China is also a major carrier of Chinese goods to Australia.

Air China's 'Fleet Development White Paper', issued in November 2014, lays the cornerstone of the airline's fleet development strategy: to provide safer, more advanced, higher efficiency and more environmentally-friendly fleet to meet its development needs and social commitments.

In 2014, Air China celebrated its 30th anniversary of flights to Australia. The direct service builds on the strong aviation traditions between the two countries. We expect the fast corridor in the sky will benefit travelers with a premium product and quality service that are synonymous with China's national flag carrier.

About Air China

Air China is China's only national flag carrier and a member carrier of the world's largest airline network - Star Alliance. By Aug 2015, Air China had a fleet of 523 passenger aircraft and freighters of mainly Boeing and Airbus families (including those of the carriers which Air China has a majority stake in). It operates 350 routes, including 87international routes, 16regional routes and 247 domestic routes. It serves 168 cities in 35 countries and regions, including 58 international cities, 4 regional cities and 106 domestic cities. Every week, Air China offers over 1.47 million seats on over 7700 flights per week.

Air China's customer service philosophy revolves around four elements: credibility, convenience, comfort, and choice. Hard work over the years has resulted in a tremendous increase in Air China's brand value. In 2013, Air China ranked again as one of the world's top 500 brands with a brand value of RMB 91.899 billion, and was the only Chinese carrier on the World Brands 500 list.

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