Swiss, KLM to Increase Presence in China
Airlines Routes

Swiss, KLM to Increase Presence in China

DALLAS – Two major European airlines have announced plans to restore and increase their operations in China for summer 2023. The two carriers, Swiss (LX) and KLM (KL) showed their reaction to the increase in passenger air travel to the Asian country after the lift of Covid regulations.

The national airline of the Netherlands will increase frequencies to three already served Chinese cities: Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG), and Hong Kong (HKG). The first two will see daily arrivals of KLM aircraft, while HKG services will be increased up to three weekly flights, arriving on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

On the other hand, Swiss International Air Lines will resume services in PVG after one year of pause, starting with a one-weekly frequency in March, eventually evolving into three weekly services from April onwards. Flights will be operated by Airbus A340 and Boeing 777 aircraft, as stated by the airline. Flights to HKG will also be extended up to six weekly frequencies by LX for the summer 2023 season.

All these schedule changes will start on March 3 for Swiss and March 26 for KLM. Additionally, all flight times will be extended by at least one hour due to the airspace closure of Russia, forcing European airlines to avoid the territory over the Middle East and Southern Asia.

Until the arrival of the A350, Swiss is still confident in the performance of the A340, which is today a big piece in the long-haul network of the airline. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

Travelling To China In 2023

China has been one of the most affected countries worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2020 and 2022, the Chinese population was placed under strict quarantine restrictions to avoid the spread of the virus, seriously influencing commercial operations to and from the world’s second-largest aviation market.

Until recently, most flights to China were banned as international borders were heavily controlled. Today, among the principal regulations, passengers travelling to China must wear mandatory face masks on board, and aircraft and flight crew, flying international flights, must face, in the worst cases, two or three days of quarantine at the origin and destination airports.

These regulations and the closure of Russian airspace to most European carriers have made it difficult for airlines to schedule efficient and profitable flights to China.

Featured image: KLM Airbus A330-200: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways.

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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