Chinese airline Air China launches Beijing–Athens non-stop flights twice a week.
On 30 September 2017, Air China launched a new non-stop route between Beijing and Athens. The first flight to Athens landed at Athens International Airport “El. Venizelos” on Saturday morning, carrying 200 passengers. A special event was organised upon the airplane’s landing; it was attended, amongst others, by Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Christos Spirtzis and People's Republic of China Ambassador Zou Xiaoli. In their speeches, both emphasized the crucial importance of the two countries’ direct connection for tourism, trade and culture.
The service will operate twice a week with Airbus 330-200 aircraft, reducing the journey time between Beijing and Athens to just 10.5 hours. The new Beijing–Athens route will operate every Wednesday and Saturday. The outbound flight departs Beijing at 02:30 and arrives in Athens at 08:15. The inbound flight departs from Athens at 14:15 and arrives in Beijing at 04:30 the next day (all times are local). Flying directly to Athens, passengers can then transfer easily to other Greek destinations.
The launch of regular non-stop routes between the two countries’ capitals is expected to contribute significantly to the increase of Chinese tourists in Greece. At the same time, it may also turn the country into a regional transport hub serving professional travelers, tourists and students from both countries.