Air China To Expand In Middle East

The Chinese national carrier, Air China, plans to increase its Middle East presence with new routes and more frequencies, according to an airline official. Wang Zhiyong, General Manager-UAE, for Air China said “The Middle East is the quickest developing area in terms of air traffic and it makes sense to expand our network in the region.” 

The airline currently flies four times a week from its hub in Beijing to Dubai, but said capacity does not meet demand.  Wang said the airline currently has an 85 percent load capacity in economy class and 50 percent in business class. He said they will add new flights in the summer of 2011, after taking delivery of new aircraft on order. Delivery of 15 Boeing 787s began last year and the airline has 20 Airbus 330s, 15 Boeing 777s, and 30 737s on order, to be delivered next year.  Air China has codeshare agreements with Egypt Air for flights from Beijing to Cairo, and with Qatar Airways for flights from Shanghai to Beijing into Doha.

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