New Air China route PEK-NCE

Old Jun 21, 19, 10:37 am
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New Air China route PEK-NCE

Air China have just announced a new nonstop route from Beijing to Nice. Flights operated year round, three times a week using a 332 from 2 August. There are rumours of more routes opening imminently between mainland China and Nice. More details here:

https://www.nice.aeroport.fr/Passage...-par-Air-China
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Old Jun 21, 19, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Air China have just announced a new nonstop route from Beijing to Nice. Flights operated year round, three times a week using a 332 from 2 August. There are rumours of more routes opening imminently between mainland China and Nice. More details here:

https://www.nice.aeroport.fr/Passage...-par-Air-China
That scheduling looks unhelpful:
NCE-PEK 12:25-04:55(+1) Wed, Fri, Sun
PEK-NCE 02:50-08:05 Wed, Fri, Sun

I thought it could be a good ex-EU option for August when ex-LHR prices are £1k in Y, but not sure that's going to work... The IFE on those A330s is woeful too.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Deltus View Post
I thought it could be a good ex-EU option for August when ex-LHR prices are £1k in Y, but not sure that's going to work...
To be honest, regardless of timing, I'd be extremely surprised if it were - CA are opening the route for a reason: the Cote d'Azur is packed with Chinese tourists, especially in the summer and I suspect that in peak summer season, the flights will be packed and cost an absolute fortune, likely more than to/from London! As though it were not popular enough, Xi Jinping chose to come to Nice for his personal holiday weekend after his Spring official trips to Europe and images of the Presidential couple enjoying the lavender blue skies of the historic Cote d'Azur apparently copiously made it to tv news, and one of the most popular Chinese actors is married to a lady from Nice and explained in various recent interviews that they come here for their holiday every year to see his wife's family and enjoy the area/ Some companies are also selling group weddings to the area.

In short, I wouldn't hold my breath about cheap fares in high season. Low season (e.g. November and January) may prove more alluring cost-wise.

Last edited by orbitmic; Jun 21, 19 at 3:42 pm
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Old Jun 21, 19, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Deltus View Post
That scheduling looks unhelpful:
NCE-PEK 12:25-04:55(+1) Wed, Fri, Sun
PEK-NCE 02:50-08:05 Wed, Fri, Sun

I thought it could be a good ex-EU option for August when ex-LHR prices are £1k in Y, but not sure that's going to work... The IFE on those A330s is woeful too.
It's good for plane utilization as well as connection on PEK side. CA has a wave of EU flights leaving after midnight and wave of EU, North America, Australia arriving early morning.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 9:05 am
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I spend summers on the East coast of Spain and am seeing a steady increase in Chinese visitors each year. I’m sure the whole Med area is experiencing heightened numbers.
Nice seems like a master stroke, as it is near the border with Italy. That’s two markets in one.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
I spend summers on the East coast of Spain and am seeing a steady increase in Chinese visitors each year. Iím sure the whole Med area is experiencing heightened numbers.
Nice seems like a master stroke, as it is near the border with Italy. Thatís two markets in one.
Chinese AND American tourists converging on the same area at the same time. Sounds wonderful! Where can I sign up?
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Old Jun 22, 19, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Deltus View Post
That scheduling looks unhelpful:
NCE-PEK 12:25-04:55(+1) Wed, Fri, Sun
PEK-NCE 02:50-08:05 Wed, Fri, Sun

I thought it could be a good ex-EU option for August when ex-LHR prices are £1k in Y, but not sure that's going to work... The IFE on those A330s is woeful too.
The schedule is a normal schedule for China/EU flights.
CX from Hong Kong operates similar schedules.
Schedule might be "optimal" if the flight was leaving an hour earlier from PEK and an hour later from NCE. But CA wishes a shorter turnaround.

Air China Business seats on A330 have plenty of space. They are pair seats that transform into flat bed, far better than AF NEV. Same width but with 80" pitch instead of 62". But no more privacy. Y is 2x4x2, so not bad.

They will take some business away from AF, EK and QR.
They currently offer a business fare from NCE at EUR2,200 and that is competitive.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
The schedule is a normal schedule for China/EU flights.
CX from Hong Kong operates similar schedules.
Schedule might be "optimal" if the flight was leaving an hour earlier from PEK and an hour later from NCE. But CA wishes a shorter turnaround.
Well, not compared to London - CA offers a daily choice of 15:00, 20:25 or 22:40 departures ex-LHR, and from PEK 07:35, 14:10 and 16:15. Obviously I wouldn't expect anything similar to London from a French regional airport, but I feel they could have done slightly better with the scheduling...
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Old Jun 23, 19, 2:35 am
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Indeed, it is hard to compare LHR to a small regional airport.

"Convenience" is a personal judgment. Personally, I strongly dislike and avoid 12h day flights such as the PEK-LHR. Travelling in J where I can sleep, I strongly favor flights arriving early morning.

Anyway, most Asian airlines offer a night departure from Asia arriving early morning in Europe (UK has one hour time difference so it makes day flights a bit easier). With its heavy traffic, LHR is a bit of an exception allowing an array of flights. Even European airlines tend to favor evening departures from Asia. That is why I called it a "normal" schedule.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 4:50 am
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Yes, I think that LHR is a bit of a different story. One should also remember that airlines fly to LHR in full knowledge that many people may further connect there, even if they do not necessarily have partners with hubs there. In all regional airports of the likes of NCE, MAN, TXL, GVA, BCN or MXP, the idea is that we will just take what we are given and be happy with it as it avoids adding a connection. To and from NCE, this will just mean not only nonstop flights to/from PEK but one stop flights to/from a very large number of Chinese domestic airports and that will make a lot of people very happy.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Yes, I think that LHR is a bit of a different story. One should also remember that airlines fly to LHR in full knowledge that many people may further connect there, even if they do not necessarily have partners with hubs there. In all regional airports of the likes of NCE, MAN, TXL, GVA, BCN or MXP, the idea is that we will just take what we are given and be happy with it as it avoids adding a connection. To and from NCE, this will just mean not only nonstop flights to/from PEK but one stop flights to/from a very large number of Chinese domestic airports and that will make a lot of people very happy.
Would you be happy with a 5 hour delay, and a night (or 3) in a crappy hotel?
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:27 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Would you be happy with a 5 hour delay, and a night (or 3) in a crappy hotel?
Like most people, I will be happier with a 5 hour delay and a night or 3 in a crappy hotel on a one flight trip than a 5 (or 10) hour delay and a night or 5 in a crappy hotel on a three flight trip.

Nonstop flights don't make bad airlines good, but if you are going to fly with any given airline, ultimately, one flight is always less of a risk of delays and cancellations than two flights, and two flights are always less of a risk of delays and cancellations than three flights.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 3:04 am
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A 3am departure out of PEK is indeed late, considering the airport train shuts down well before 3 hours prior.

http://en.bcia.com.cn/traffic/express/index.shtml
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