British Airways: More direct flights to Chengdu
Updated: 2014-06-18 07:13
By ZHuan Ti (China Daily)
British Airways is expanding in China as the number of direct flights from London to Chengdu increased from three to five a week in early May.
The airline currently operates the brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Chengdu route, its third destination on the Chinese mainland after Beijing and Shanghai.
The rising number of flights to Chengdu is a response to the city's new visa-free 72-hour stay policy that started in September. It allows nationals from 51 countries in Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania to spend three days in the city if they have valid visas and onward flight tickets to a third country.
British Airways has been flying to the Chinese mainland for more than 30 years. It has a worldwide route network that covers more than 170 destinations in 75 countries.
One of the world's largest international airlines, it carries some 36 million customers around the world every year.
It is now investing 5 billion pounds ($8.4 billion) in new and upgraded aircraft, innovative technologies and customer services.
New initiatives include Chinese language on its official website ba.com, highly active Weibo and WeChat social media sites, Chinese meal options served onboard and Chinese-speaking pilots, cabin and customer services teams.
Over more than 90 years, the airline has carried more than 1.2 billion passengers and is recognized as one of the world's elite carriers.
British Airways was recently named the United Kingdom's Consumer Superbrand of 2014, securing the top position against 1,500 other brands and becoming the first airline or travel brand to win the prestigious title.
This latest honor comes after a number of activities by British Airways in cooperation with VisitBritain, the national tourism agency.
The airline recently signed up to VisitBritain's pioneering new initiative, the Great China Welcome Charter, which aims to establish Britain as the most welcoming destination in Europe for Chinese travelers.
Among the joint programs was the campaign "The Big British Invite" in 2012, which featured British locals inviting Chinese travelers to visit Britain.
VisitBritain and British Airways have also co-organized a number of high-profile consumer promotions in China including a "British Tea Party" in Shanghai to celebrate the British queen's diamond jubilee and a panda-themed flash mob in Chengdu to welcome its inaugural flight to the city.
For more information on British Airways, please visit ba.com or follow it on Sina Weibo (weibo.com/britishairways) or WeChat.
(China Daily 06/18/2014 page19)