Bloomberg | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz
Xiamen Airlines Co. will start flying to Qatar in October, people familiar with the matter said, further strengthening aviation ties between China and the Middle East as air travel rebounds from the Covid crisis.
The subsidiary of China Southern Airlines Co. will partner with Qatar Airways on routes between Doha and Beijing and Xiamen, a port city in southeast China, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
The number of overseas flights from China is still only about 50% of pre-pandemic levels, but services to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have almost fully recovered to about 130 a week.
Qatar Airways is the only carrier flying direct between China and Doha at present, with 31 round trips a week, according to data firm Cirium. China Southern, Air China Ltd. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. fly to Dubai, along with Emirates. Etihad Airways flies between Abu Dhabi and China.
While Middle Eastern routes are thriving, direct flights from China to the US remain way below 2019 levels. Xiamen Air operates three flights a week to and from Los Angeles, compared with a dozen before Covid, including to New York.
The carrier’s international services also include Amsterdam, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney and Vancouver. The drop in US flights has freed up capacity for Xiamen Air to use some of its 12 Boeing Co. 787 jets for the new Middle East route.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.