British Airways set to gain access to Chinese domestic market

James Nickerson
Follow James
Chinese Terracotta Warriors and Horses Exhibition In Madrid
Cruz said it would be easier to visit sites such as the Terracotta Warriors (Source: Getty)

British Airways is gearing up for access to China's domestic market as it launches a new partnership with China Eastern Airlines.

Through the partnership with the Shanghai-based carrier, customers in the UK will be able to fly to regional Chinese destinations.

Read more: Yep, a weaker pound has hit British Airlines owner IAG

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with China Eastern Airlines and are very pleased that we can now offer our customers the opportunity to book with British Airways to fly to these great regional Chinese destinations.

We believe the start of this code-share will help to generate more opportunities for companies based in these important cities as it will be simpler and easier to travel to do business in person. And for leisure travellers looking to explore and witness ancient culture and stunning landscapes, these flights will lead them to the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, the Purple Mountain in Nanjing and the Porcelain Village in Chongqing.

The destinations available were previously more difficult to access from the UK.

BA will start selling flights to Kunming, Xi’an, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Chongqing on a BA flight code, while the Chinese carrier will sell British Airways flights to Aberdeen, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle on their MU flight code.

Read more: Qatar Airways just bumped up its stake in the owner of British Airways

Zeng Yongchao, China Eastern Airlines’ executive deputy managing director of marketing and sales committee, said: “British Airways is a very important partner to China Eastern. The code-share demonstrates that the partnership between us has embarked on a new phase.

“We are pleased to begin this mutually-beneficial partnership and offer our customers a more attractive route network and a comfortable and seamless travel experience. The UK is popular with Chinese travellers and we look forward to welcoming customers on-board our flights to the UK through London.”