Air China to open Beijing-Copenhagen route

With the China-Denmark Tourism Year only just ended, another success has been secured. At the end of May, Air China is to open a route between Beijing and Copenhagen with four weekly services, Copenhagen Airports has announced.

The many years of work to establish more routes and better air connections between China and Denmark are bearing fruit.

From 30 May 2018 Air China will be flying non-stop between Beijing and Copenhagen, a trip that takes 10 hours. The Beijing-Copenhagen direct route will become a strong supplement to the Beijing-Stockholm route, further improving Air China’s network of routes to Northern Europe.

Once the route launches, domestic passengers will be able to enjoy travel in Northern Europe by flying to two destinations, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Passengers from Denmark and Sweden will also be able to enjoy 144-hour via free transit in Beijing when travelling to a third country.

China, the most populous country in the world, is not just a growing tourist destination. It is also one of Denmark’s most important trade partners.

“So it’s really great news that from 30 May Air China will be operating four weekly flights between Beijing and Copenhagen,” says Copenhagen Airport’s CEO, Thomas Woldbye.

“With Air China the tourists and business travellers will have even more options. Our experience is that greater choice increases the number of travellers, so we expect an increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Denmark,” says Thomas Woldbye.

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is filled with fairy-tale innocence and lively, idyllic charm. Following the official start of the “China-Denmark Year of Tourism”, Chinese tourists are becoming increasingly excited about travelling to Denmark. In 2016, around 220,000 overnight stays by Chinese visitors to Denmark were recorded.

Chinese travellers typically visit 3-5 countries on an 8-10-day European tour, typically spending 1-2 nights in Denmark. The aim is to get them to stay a little longer.

“Increased connectivity is crucial for strengthening tourism and business development in Greater Copenhagen,” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, CEO of Wonderful Copenhagen, which manages the general route development programme Global Connected.

“A number of excellent players worked to attract new services from China as part of the China-Denmark Tourism Year, and with Air China’s new route we’re now seeing the results of a strong, united effort. It’s a perfect start to 2018, a year in which Copenhagen will be co-hosting Beijing Design Week,” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen.

In recent years, China’s importance to the global economy has been growing – including for Denmark. In 2016, Denmark exported goods and services worth around DKK 40 billion and imported goods worth DKK 43.7 billion.

One of the new big economic growth areas is tourism,” says Sune K. Jensen, Head of Tourism at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).

“It’s positive for both trade and tourism that there will be another route. It will make it easier for Danish and Chinese business people to meet up, and it will attract more Chinese tourists to Denmark. China’s citizens already spend more on foreign travel than any other country,” says Sune K. Jensen.

In recent years, Copenhagen Airport has actively worked to make Chinese visitors feel welcome in Denmark.

“In addition to signs in Chinese and a Chinese version of our CPH Airport app, we’ve also taken on special Chinese-speaking guides,” says Thomas Woldbye. And it doesn’t stop there.

“In the spring, we’ll be launching a collaboration with DianPing, the Chinese equivalent of TripAdvisor. That should get CPH, and as a result Denmark and Copenhagen, even higher up the wish list of Chinese travellers planning their trip to Europe,” says Thomas Woldbye.

Departures from Beijing will be at 02.55 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at CPH on the same day at 06.45 Danish time. Departures from CPH will be on the same day at 13.15, arriving in Beijing on the following day at 04.10 Chinese time.

All flights use the Airbus 330-200. Business class offers 180-degree fully flat seats, with personal entertainment systems throughout the cabin, so you can either stretch out comfortably or enjoy the entertainment, giving each passenger an even better personal flying space.

For many years, Air China has been establishing a global route network with Beijing as its hub. The network of routes spreads throughout the world, covering six continents. The addition of this non-stop route between China and Scandinavia is the latest development in Air China’s strategy to transform Beijing into an airport hub with a truly global reach, and improve network coverage in the Europe. Air China offers the largest selection of routes between China and Europe. The new Beijing–Copenhagen service will bring the total number of routes to 27, with an offering of 300 flights per week to 20 major European destinations, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Moscow, Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich and Stockholm, all serviced by wide-body aircraft.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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