China Eastern Airlines is planning to launch the first ever direct air link between Kunming and Europe.
On 18 December 2014, the carrier will commence direct services between the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province and Paris.
Flights will operate three times a week, departing Kunming’s Changshui International Airport every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 0005, arriving at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport at 0550. The return flight will then leave the French capital at 1150, getting back into Kunming at 0600 the next day.
The new long-haul route will be operated using a new Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which China Eastern took delivery of in September 2014. The aircraft has a capacity of 234 passengers in a two-cabin layout, with 30 flat-bed seats in business class and 204 seats in economy.
China Eastern is now set to take delivery of another two A330-200s by end of this year, which it will use to expand its international network from Kunming, including the launch of flights to Vancouver.
Shanghai-based China Eastern is the biggest airline operating at Kunming. Known as the Spring City, Yunnan’s capital has a warmer climate than many of China’s other major cities, and serves as a gateway to UNESCO-listed attractions such as the ancient city of Lijiang and the Stone Forest.