The many years of work to establish more routes and better air connections between China and Denmark are bearing fruit.
First with Cathay Pacific, which on May 2. will be opening a route to Hong Kong. And now with Air China, states a press release from the Chinese carrier:
“Air China Limited (Air China) will begin non-stop flights between Beijing and Copenhagen from May 30, 2018. Once the new route launches, passengers will be able to arrive comfortably in Andersen's dreamlike fairy tale Kingdom in 10 hours,” says the press release.
China, the most populous country in the world, is not just a growing tourist destination. It is also one of Denmark’s most important trade partners.
“So it’s really great news that from 30 May Air China will be operating four weekly flights between Beijing and Copenhagen,” says Copenhagen Airport’s CEO, Thomas Woldbye.
Air China is a member of Star Alliance, just like SAS, which flies to Beijing once a day seven days a week.
“With Air China the tourists and business travellers will have even more options. Our experience is that greater choice increases the number of travellers, so we expect an increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Denmark,” says Thomas Woldbye.
China-Denmark Tourism Year
Last year, around 110,000 Chinese tourists came to Denmark via Copenhagen Airport. With Air Chinas four extra direct departures from Beijing every week, it is expected that this number will increase.
“Increased connectivity is crucial for strengthening tourism and business development in Greater Copenhagen,” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, CEO of Wonderful Copenhagen, which manages the general route development programme Global Connected.
“A number of excellent players worked to attract new services from China as part of the China-Denmark Tourism Year, and with Air China’s new route we’re now seeing the results of a strong, united effort. It’s a perfect start to 2018, a year in which Copenhagen will be co-hosting Beijing Design Week,” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen.
Air China is also highlighting the recent China-Denmark year of tourism:
“Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and is filled with fairy-tale innocence and lively, idyllic charm. Following the official start of the "China-Denmark Year of Tourism Chinese tourists are becoming increasingly excited about travelling to Denmark,” says the airline in a press release.
Chinas growing importance
In recent years, China’s importance to the global economy has been growing – including for Denmark. In 2016, Denmark exported goods and services worth around DKK 40 billion and imported goods worth DKK 43.7 billion.
One of the new big economic growth areas is tourism,” says Sune K. Jensen, Head of Tourism at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).
“It’s positive for both trade and tourism that there will be another route. It will make it easier for Danish and Chinese business people to meet up, and it will attract more Chinese tourists to Denmark. China’s citizens already spend more on foreign travel than any other country,” says Sune K. Jensen.
Currently, Chinese tourists typically spend one to two nights in Denmark on their European tours. The aim is to get them to stay a little longer.
In recent years, Copenhagen Airport has actively worked to make Chinese visitors feel welcome in Denmark.
“In addition to signs in Chinese and a Chinese version of our CPH Airport app, we’ve also taken on special Chinese-speaking guides,” says Thomas Woldbye. And it doesn’t stop there.
“In the spring, we’ll be launching a collaboration with DianPing, the Chinese equivalent of TripAdvisor. That should get CPH, and as a result Denmark and Copenhagen, even higher up the wish list of Chinese travellers planning their trip to Europe,” says Thomas Woldbye.
- Chinese travellers typically visit 3-5 countries on an 8-10-day European tour, typically spending 1-2 nights in Denmark.
- In 2016, around 220,000 overnight stays by Chinese visitors to Denmark were recorded.
- Air China was formed in 1988 when the government split the then CAAC into a number of independent companies.
- Air China has more than 50,000 employees, a fleet of around 400 aircraft, and a large route network in China and internationally.
- Air China is a member of Star Alliance.
- Air China will deploy an Airbus A330-200, which can carry 237 passengers.
- Departures from Beijing will be at 02.55 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at CPH on the same day at 06.45 Danish time.
- Departures from CPH will be on the same day at 13.15, arriving in Beijing on the following day at 04.10 Chinese time.