Air China

Air China Issues Apology Following “Safety Tips” Flub

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Yesterday I posted about how Air China was under fire following what was printed in one of their inflight magazines, Wings of China. In a feature about London they suggested that extra precautions are needed when “entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people.” They also suggested that “females always be accompanied by another person when traveling,” which seems like an awfully broad generalization to make.

Suffice to say most people weren’t too pleased with this “advice.” I think it goes without saying that the article didn’t represent the views of Air China as such, but rather was a combination of an out-of-touch writer combined with a bad translation.

On the plus side, Air China has very quickly responded to this situation, and has already issued a statement. They’ve apologized for what happened, ordered the removal of the magazine from all Air China aircraft, and have also demanded that the Wings of China editorial team “learn the lesson” and avoid a similar situation in the future.

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Air China’s Safety Tips: Avoid Indian, Pakistani, And Black Neighborhoods

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Air China’s inflight magazine, Wings of China, has a long feature on visiting London in the current issue, which talks all about what you should do during your visit to the city.

While the story is thousands and thousands of words long, there are a couple of sentences in particular that are drawing the most attention. Specifically, the part about safety:

“London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people. We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.”

Oops! I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the ethnic part is the worst, but suggesting that females should always be accompanied by another person when traveling isn’t exactly sound advice either.

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San Jose Snags Another Transpacific Flight

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Over the past few years both Boston and San Jose have seen an impressive amount of new longhaul flights.

For example, San Jose has gotten service to Tokyo on ANA and to Beijing on Hainan, while they’re in the process of getting flights to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and to London on British Airways. For a market which previously had virtually no longhaul flights, that’s pretty impressive.

Well, San Jose Airport is now getting a third transpacific route. It has just been announced that Air China will launch 3x weekly flights between Shanghai and San Jose as of June 16, 2016. The new flight will be operated by an Airbus A330-200, featuring 237 seats, 30 of which are fully flat business class seats.

The flight will operate with the following schedule:

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5 Coolest Fifth Freedom Routes In Europe

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I’ve written in the past about fifth freedom routes. For those of you not familiar with fifth freedom routes, these are flights where an airline from one country has the right to operate between two other countries.

These are often operated in conjunction with longhaul flights back to the airline’s home country. To give a few examples:

— Cathay Pacific flies from New York to Vancouver to Hong Kong, so the flight between New York and Vancouver would be a fifth freedom route
— Singapore Airlines flies from New York to Frankfurt to Singapore, so the flight between New York and Frankfurt would be a fifth freedom route
— Korean Air flies from Seoul to Los Angeles to Sao Paulo, so the flight between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo would be a fifth freedom route

Those are just a few examples, and also happen to be among my favorite fifth freedom routes in the US.

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The New, Most Luxurious Way To Fly To Cuba?

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Early in 2015 it was speculated that Air China would launch flights between Beijing and Montreal, and also that they would add a tag flight between Montreal and Havana, Cuba.

The Beijing to Montreal flight was announced a while back, though Air China has now announced that they’re adding the Montreal to Havana 3x weekly tag flight as of December 27, 2015. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

CA879 Beijing to Montreal departing 2:00PM arriving 1:40PM
CA879 Montreal to Havana departing 4:20PM arriving 8:15PM
CA880 Havana to Montreal departing 9:00AM arriving 12:30PM
CA880 Montreal to Beijing departing 2:30PM arriving 5:30PM (+1 day)

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You Know Your International First Class Lounge Sucks When…

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…it’s also a Priority Pass lounge.

Beijing’s Capital International Airport is basically a huge contradiction. Architecturally it’s gorgeous, but everything else about it sucks. Big time.

I don’t think there’s a single lounge in the airport which is objectively “nice.” There are certainly some lounges which are worse than others, but none are worth spending any time in, in my opinion.

I’ve been to Beijing a couple of times over the past few weeks. The first time I visited the Cathay Pacific & Dragonair Lounge Beijing, which is the contract lounge American uses for their passengers. The lounge is okay. The wifi isn’t usable and the bathrooms are gross, but the seating itself is fine, and the food spread isn’t offensive.

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Captain Panda Spends 8 Hours In Beijing

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On Saturday I posted a link to a pretty epic Air China promotional video which was unveiled last month. In it, an animated panda gives a tour of Air China’s Boeing 747-8. And. It’s. Amazing.

Reader Paos pointed out that this was actually a sequel to another promotional Air China video, entitled “Captain Panda’s 8 Hours in Beijing:”

Oh my, it might just be even more epic. My thoughts?

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A Panda Gives You A Tour Of An Air China Boeing 747-8

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In terms of things which are on my list of favorite things ever, Air China uploaded a Boeing 747-8 tour to YouTube a few weeks ago. It’s no surprise Air China wants to show off their Boeing 747-8s, as they’re the latest airline to take delivery of the plane. The best part? The tour is given by a panda.

It’s quite possibly the most cringeworthy best thing ever. I’m not sure whether my favorite part is the panda thinking there may be a panda princess on the upper deck, him just entering the flight deck without permission to give the captain flowers, or the fact that the plane doesn’t seem to have an economy cabin. Good thing there were no air marshals aboard.

If you want a Saturday laugh, you need to see this video:

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Air China Has Stopped Releasing First & Business Class Award Space To The US

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Admittedly Air China isn’t the most aspirational airline on earth to fly, though for a long time they’ve been a pretty reliable option for securing premium cabin Star Alliance award seats. I flew them between Paris and Beijing a bit over a year ago, and was pleasantly surprised by their onboard product in business class.

Their service to the US is rapidly expanding, as they now fly from Beijing to Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, with more service to come.

Back in the day Air China would consistently release a good amount of first class award space in advance, and a ton of business class award space in advance. Oddly they would always block out space close to departure which is the opposite of what you’d expect, but I’ve never claimed to understand them.

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Air China 747-8 Flights To San Francisco As Of May 1, 2015

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Air China is the second airline to take delivery of the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8, after Lufthansa.

For me the 747 is the queen of the skies, and I’m sad to slowly see it phased out. Unfortunately it’s a gas guzzler, even in comparison to the A380, which is struggling to survive as well.

While Lufthansa has been flying the 747-8 for a couple of years now, Air China started flying their first Boeing 747-8 on longhaul flights today. Air China’s launch 747-8 longhaul route is Beijing to New York JFK, which is now being operated daily with the following frequency:

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Air China To Start Service Between Canada And Cuba?!

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This airliners.net thread has a post about routes that Air China will apparently launch in 2015. This includes new longhaul and shorthaul service out of Beijing, as well as new shorthaul routes out of Hangzhou and Tianjin.

The new routes out of Beijing apparently include the following:

CA165/6 Beijing-Melbourne, start from 6-1, A330, 1/3/5/7
CA867/8 Beijing-Johannesburg, start from 6-19, B773, 1/3/5
CA879/80 Beijing-Montreal-Havana, start from 9-20, B773, 1/3/5
CA739/40 Beijing-Auckland, start from 10-25, A330, D
CA741/2 Beijing-Mumbai, start from 10-25, A330, 1/3/5/7
CA869/70 Beijing-Addis Ababa, start from 10-25, A330, 1/4/6

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Air China’s First 747-8 Destination Will Be New York JFK

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Back in September I wrote about how Air China is the next airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-8. To me, the 747 will always be the queen of the skies, and it’s sad to see so many airlines retiring them. The 747-8 at least extends 747 service for a few airlines, though unfortunately the plane never really gained traction in terms of orders.

Lufthansa was the first airline to start flying the 747-8, and Air China is the second.

Air China initially announced that they’d first be flying the 747-8 within China for familiarization/training flights, and that their first longhaul 747-8 destination would be Frankfurt.

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Air China 747-8 Flights To Frankfurt As Of 2015

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A few days ago I wrote about Air China being the next airline to take delivery of the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8, which is one of my favorite planes in the sky.

As is the norm when an airline first takes delivery of a new plane, they’ll initially be flying it on domestic routes as a way of familiarizing crews with the aircraft, before commencing longhaul operations early next year. In the case of Air China, they’ll be flying the 747-8 between Beijing and Guangzhou as of October 11, 2014.

Just today, Air China has announced their first longhaul 747-8 route. I predicted it would be between Beijing and Los Angeles — I was wrong. It looks like Air China will first be flying the 747-8 between Beijing and Frankfurt.

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Air China Starting 747-8 Flights Beijing To Guangzhou

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There’s no denying that while the Airbus A380 is the best plane in the sky in terms of passenger comfort, the Boeing 747-8 is certainly the sexiest.

The 747 will always be the “queen of the skies” for me, and I’m really sad to see so many airlines retiring them. I think many of us grew up flying the 747, and seeing them retired marks the end of an era.

Yes, I may have shed a tear or ten when I watched the Singapore 747-400 retirement video (especially 4:40 in):

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