Star Alliance members will have another destination to collect frequent flyer status miles. Member airline Air China plans to start Beijing – Vladivostok service on June 3, 2014, offering access to the largest Russian city in the Far East which boasts magnificent sceneries and varied cultural attractions.
Vladivostok is a city and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai, Russia, located at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia’s borders with China and North Korea. The population of the city, according to the 2010 Census, is 592,034, down from 594,701 recorded in the 2002 Census.
The city is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean.
The four-times weekly service CA701/2 will be operated on Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday. The outbound flight departs at 06:25 Beijing time and arrives at 11:35 local time; the return flight departs at 12:35 local time and arrives at 12:00 Beijing time.
Vladivostok is also known in Chinese as Haishenwai. Located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula in the east of the Eurasian continent, Vladivostok is close to Russia’s borders with China and North Korea. There’s a three-hour time difference between Vladivostok and Beijing. Vladivostok is the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. On the October Revolution Square stands a bronze statue of Lenin. Ox horn-shaped Golden Horn Bay is chock-full of vessels and warships of all sizes. Surrounded by sea on three sides, Vladivostok is very much prized for its beachfront bathing activities and properties for holidaymakers. With its blue sky, aquamarine sea, gentle breezes and mouthwatering foods, Vladivostok has become Russia’s third most popular tourist destination behind the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Vladivostok is an important gateway to Russia’s Far East. In terms of Chinese travelers to Russia, it stands at number three in the destination market rankings 2012, only behind Moscow and St Petersburg, and is the largest Far East market for Chinese travelers. In recent years, the number of Chinese travelers to and from Vladivostok have been increasing rapidly — in 2012 alone, they numbered over 43,000, representing an increase of about four times.
The Beijing – Vladivostok service is Air China’s third route to Russia after Beijing – Moscow and Beijing – Chita were introduced. It will bring the number of Air China’s European routes up to 24, giving passengers easy access to 20 leading European cities. Moreover, Air China is a member carrier of Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline network, and utilizing the extensive route network of the Star Alliance, Air China can fly passengers to 1,328 destinations in 195 countries. With the new service, passengers can fly from other parts of the world to Vladivostok or continue their journey to other cities of Russia and Europe via Air China’s hub in Beijing.