Talking Travel: your roundup of Beijing’s latest transportation-related news.
Air China to suspend Beijing-Hawaii flights amid weak travel demand
If you have your mind set on getting to Hawaii in the next couple of weeks, you may want to book your tickets pronto. That’s because Air China will suspend its thrice-a-week flights from Beijing to Honolulu on Aug 27, quoting weak demand. Air China’s Beijing-Honolulu connection averaged a 66.37 percent passenger load in 2018, well under the average for other international flights, which produced a standard passenger load of 76.69 percent, according to Chinese aviation data provider Variflight (via Reuters). The news comes as another blow to anyone looking to travel to the US’ 50th state, following Hawaiian Airlines’ cessation of its direct flights from Honolulu to Beijing last year. Though Hawaii may be off the holiday menu for now, there are still plenty of other destinations that we think deserve a visit.
Beijing’s new Daxing Airport opens for ticket bookings
Beijing Daxing International Airport is now accepting flight bookings in preparation for its Sep 30 launch. As a means to alleviate air traffic and pressure on Beijing International Capital Airport, certain routes from Daxing are currently cheaper, potentially saving flyers a few hundred RMB on domestic flights, according to Qunar. Reportedly the more cost-effective flights from Daxing International Airport are those to London, Helsinki, and Fukuoka. We suggest you take advantage of the discounts and reduced airport congestion while you can, as the new airport, based in the southern outskirts of Beijing, is projected to surge in popularity, reaching a passenger throughput of 72 million by 2025 and 100 million by 2040.
Commuters voice their frustration with Line 6 construction and delays
Passengers of subway Line 6 have encountered countless delays and disruptions in the past week, complaining about the line’s incredibly slow crawl from Chaoyang Station to Dongdaqiao Station before completely skipping the stop. The reductions in speed are due to ongoing construction on metro Line 17, according to the official Beijing Subway Weibo account. While the construction was only meant to slow one small portion of the track, in reality, the entire line has been affected, with people waiting up to six minutes for incoming trains and jostling for a space in jampacked cars once they finally arrive. The crowding has also been a test of the separate air-conditioned cars, with some complaining of being stuck in carriages that were too cold or perspiring in the warmer cars. We know which we’d prefer.
Beijing now connected to Hotan in Xinjiang via expressway
Beijing is now officially connected by road to Xinjiang’s prefecture city of Hotan, 4,000 kilometers away from the capital. Following the completion of a smaller 434km offshoot of the greater G30 National Expressway, the new the road marks the first time all of Xinjiang’s prefectures and cities have been integrated into China’s expressway network. That means that from Urumqi, travelers can now turn onto Beijing-Urumqi expressway and head directly to the capital or vice versa. Alternatively, if you’d like a train to take you to the far northwest, one company is now offering just that.
Images: Yicai Global, news.cn, IC Photo, Reuters, Weibo