British Airways today (December 19) announced a new route to Chengdu in China, just weeks after starting services to Seoul in South Korea.
To celebrate the launch, and reflecting the Chinese belief that eight is an auspicious number, flights to Chengdu are available from just £508 if booked between today and January 6, 2013.
The flight number for the inbound service is BA88 and BA89 for the London outbound flight.
British Airways will be the only UK carrier to offer a direct service between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and London Heathrow.
The thrice-weekly service, which is now on sale, will start on September 22, 2013. The route will be served by a four-cabin Boeing 777 with First, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy).
Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, who announced the route in Chengdu today, said: “I have visited China on many occasions and last year went to Chengdu to see for myself the progress that has been made at the airport. It is truly impressive and shows vision and ambition.
“I am delighted to announce this new route which demonstrates the importance of mainland China to British Airways and our commitment to grow our presence here.
“Economic growth in China is continuing to outstrip that of most other countries, and Chengdu is not only the capital of Sichuan Province in the South West of China but one of the country’s largest cities.
“Since 1990, Chengdu’s economy has expanded rapidly, consistently delivering double-digit rates of growth. We are confident that the new route between Chengdu and London will prove popular with customers travelling between the two major economic hubs.
“China is also a fascinating venue for leisure travellers, and the region is famed for its giant pandas, rich culture and excellent cuisine.”
In Summer 2013, British Airways will also be increasing frequencies on services from London Heathrow to Amman, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jeddah, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto.