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BEIJING CAPITAL AIRLINES: launches Melbourne to Hangzhou route in June 2024

BEIJING CAPITAL AIRLINES: launches Melbourne to Hangzhou route in June 2024

June will see the launch of a new route between Melbourne and Hangzhou, China by low-cost carrier, Beijing Capital Airlines. Hangzhou has a population of around 11 million souls, or about twice the number of residents of Melbourne.

Routes between Australia and China have been slow to return to their pre-pandemic capacity. Tourist numbers in both directions are much reduced. This is another step in that recovery.

Beijing Capital Airlines joins China Eastern Airlines which provides a direct service on the Melbourne to Hangshou route.

a plane flying in the sky
[Beijing Capital Airlines]

The Flights on Beijing Capital Airlines

This 11-hour route will be on an Airbus A330 with three classes of cabins. There are 18 lie-flat beds in Business class in a 1-2-1 configuration with 21″ width and 78″ pitch. Premium Economy consists of 24 seats of 18″ width and 34″ pitch. The Economy cabin has 264 seats with 31-32″ pitch and 18″ width. Both Premium and Economy arranged in 2-4-2 layout.

  • JD386 departs Melbourne 7.00 am (Mon, Thur and Sat), arrives Hangzhou 3:50 pm
  • JD385 departs Hangzhou 3.50 pm (Wed, Fri and Sunday) arrives Melbourne 5:00 am

Beijing Capital Airlines also flies to Qingdao in China from Melbourne.

Air India aircraft Dreamliner spotted at Melbourne Airport July 2023
Air India aircraft Dreamliner spotted at Melbourne Airport July 2023 [2PAXfly]

Melbourne Airport and Beijing Capital Airlines

The Hanzhou flight means that Melbourne now links to eight non-stop destinations in China. Melbourne is apparently leading the charge in Australia’s return to pre-pandemic international activity. It has also snared the initial route to Istanbul via Singapore of Turkish Airlines, which is a bit of a coup. This Star Alliance airline is planning on making the route truly direct in 2026.

Also at Melbourne, are the Viet Jet direct flights to the north (Hanoi) and south (Ho Chi Minh City) of Vietnam. Late last year saw Air India commencing direct flights to Mumbai. Seasonally, Asiana Airlines will join Melbourne to Seoul foiur times a week between July and September.

a woman and a child sitting in a plane
Business Class [Beijing Capital Airlines]

2PAXfly Takeout

Great news for Australians travelling to China, and Chinese visitors to Melbourne. The aircraft seem a little dense in their seat plan, with 306 seats across three classes. Qantas has 279 on their A330-300s over three cabins, but then Beijing Capital Airlines is a low cost carrier.

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

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