Looking for the best airlines to fly to China? Look no further! Our guide is here to spotlight ten of the best airlines that fly to China from over 150 worldwide airports, including the US, UK, and Canada. Keep reading to discover them!
China, a vast nation of contrasts, has long been a siren call for adventurers and explorers. Its landscapes range from the snow-capped peaks of Tibet to the bustling metropolis of Beijing, and from the ancient Silk Road cities to the modern skyscrapers of Shanghai.
For many, the journey to China is a significant part of the adventure. The airline you choose can set the tone for your entire trip. Opting for the right one can turn a long flight into a delightful experience, filled with entertainment, comfort, and exceptional service. On the other hand, a poor choice might start your trip on a sour note.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the best airlines to go to China. This ensures your journey is as captivating as the destinations you’re heading to. Each airline has its unique offerings, from luxurious amenities to unbeatable prices. So, let’s embark on this aerial journey and discover the top choices for your next trip to the Middle Kingdom. Here are ten of the best airlines to fly to China in 2023.
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Now without further ado, here are the best China flights in 2023.
1. Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines is definitely one of the best airlines to fly into China. Since its inception in 1989, this airline has carved a niche for itself, emphasizing passenger comfort and top-tier service. Today, it connects eager travelers to over 110 cities, not just in China but across the globe.
Headquartered in the tropical paradise of Haikou, Hainan, the airline’s fleet is a blend of modernity and efficiency. Each aircraft is equipped with the latest advancements in aviation, ensuring a smooth and safe journey for all on board. A standout feature is the spaciousness of the cabins. With ample legroom, plush seating, and a diverse range of in-flight entertainment, the hours in the air feel less like a journey and more like a retreat.
Budget-conscious travelers have reason to rejoice too. Hainan Airlines is known for its periodic flight deals, making the dream of exploring China a tangible reality for many. With major operational hubs in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, passengers are spoilt for choice when it comes to flight schedules and destinations.
Price-wise, Hainan Airlines offers a harmonious blend of luxury and value. While it might not be the most economical choice, the impeccable service, delightful meals, and overall flying experience make every penny spent worthwhile.
To top it off, did you know that Hainan Airlines was the first mainland Chinese airline to clinch a five-star rating from Skytrax? This accolade, without a doubt, speaks volumes about its dedication to ensuring passengers have a memorable flight experience.
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2. Air China
Looking for more best airlines to China? Air China, the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of China, has long been a top choice for travelers seeking a direct and comfortable journey to China. The airline offers flights to over 200 destinations worldwide.
For travelers in the U.S., Air China offers direct flights from major cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. This makes it, undoubtedly, one of the best international airlines to China. European adventurers aren’t left behind either. With direct routes from key European cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Madrid, exploring China has never been more accessible.
Air China’s hub, Beijing Capital International Airport, serves as a convenient transit point for those looking to explore other parts of Asia. The airline’s extensive network ensures that passengers can easily connect to other Chinese cities or neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
One of the unique features of Air China is its commitment to showcasing Chinese culture onboard. From traditional Chinese meals to in-flight entertainment options that include Chinese cinema, passengers get a taste of China even before they land.
Air China offers a range of options to suit various budgets. While it provides luxurious first-class and business class experiences, its economy class doesn’t skimp on comfort, ensuring a pleasant journey for all.
It’s this attention to detail and dedication to passenger satisfaction that solidifies Air China’s reputation as a premier choice for international travel to and from China. As such, it’s no wonder why this is among the best airlines from the US to China right now.
China Southern Airlines, headquartered in Guangzhou, stands as one of the world’s largest airlines by passenger carried and fleet size. Since its establishment in 1988, it has been a frontrunner in connecting China with the world. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best airlines to travel to China from the U.S. and beyond.
China Southern offers direct flights from cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. European travelers can easily hop on a China Southern flight from major hubs like London, Amsterdam, and Paris. The airline also has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, with routes from Sydney, Auckland, and more.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China Southern’s primary hub, is strategically located. It serves as a perfect layover for those wanting to explore other parts of China or continue their journey to Southeast Asian destinations.
What sets China Southern apart is its dedication to passenger comfort. The airline also boasts modern aircraft with features like wider seats, ample legroom, and a vast selection of in-flight entertainment. For food enthusiasts, the airline offers a delightful array of Chinese and international cuisines, ensuring every palate is catered to.
Price-wise, China Southern strikes an impressive balance. While it offers the opulence of first-class suites for those seeking luxury, its economy class is renowned for delivering value without compromising on comfort.
To round it off, China Southern’s “Sky Pearl Club” loyalty program is a gem for frequent travelers. With a range of benefits, from discounted tickets to lounge access, and partnerships with numerous global airlines, it ensures that loyalty is handsomely rewarded. Without a doubt, every journey with China Southern is a memorable one.
When you think of Switzerland, images of pristine alpine landscapes, precision engineering, and impeccable hospitality come to mind. SWISS, the country’s flagship carrier, embodies all these qualities. Hands down, it’s one of the best airlines to fly to China.
Starting your journey from major cities like New York, San Francisco, or Miami, SWISS offers a seamless connection to China via its hub in Zurich. This route not only provides travelers with a touch of Swiss efficiency but also a glimpse of the breathtaking Swiss landscapes during transit.
One of the standout features of flying with SWISS is the onboard experience. The cabins, designed with a blend of modern aesthetics and traditional Swiss touches, ensure passengers feel a sense of calm and luxury. The in-flight entertainment system is a treasure trove of movies, music, and documentaries. This also includes a special selection that showcases Swiss culture and landscapes.
For those who appreciate fine dining, SWISS doesn’t disappoint. The airline also collaborates with top Swiss chefs to curate a menu that’s a gastronomic delight. From traditional Swiss dishes to global cuisines, every meal is a culinary journey.
SWISS places a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility. Their fleet is one of the most fuel-efficient in the skies, and they’re continually working on initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.
Lastly, for travelers keen on exploring beyond China, SWISS’s extensive network across Europe makes it easy to add a European leg to your Asian adventure. Imagine exploring the canals of Amsterdam or the art galleries of Paris before diving into the rich tapestry of China!
China Eastern Airlines, based in Shanghai, showcases China’s rapid ascent in the global aviation landscape. As one of the best airlines to fly into China, it seamlessly marries the country’s rich history with its forward-looking aspirations.
For travelers embarking from North America, China Eastern offers direct routes from cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and New York. Those in Europe can easily find their way to China’s heartland via flights from London, Madrid, and Frankfurt. Moreover, for our neighbors down under in Australia, direct connections from Sydney and Melbourne make China just a flight away.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport, China Eastern’s primary hub, is a marvel in itself. As you transit, you’re treated to a blend of state-of-the-art facilities with pockets of traditional Chinese architecture. This gives you a taste of China even before you set foot outside the airport!
Flying with China Eastern is an experience in cultural immersion. The in-flight entertainment boasts a rich collection of Chinese cinema, music, and documentaries. It offers passengers a deep dive into the nation’s arts and culture. And the food? It’s a culinary journey through China’s diverse provinces, with dishes that tantalize the taste buds and narrate stories of their origin.
China Eastern is also known for its commitment to innovation. They’ve been pioneers in introducing tech-forward initiatives, from biometric boarding to AI-driven customer service, ensuring passengers experience the future of air travel today.
China Eastern’s vast network across Asia means you can easily extend your trip to explore the neon lights of Tokyo, the beaches of Bali, or the bustling streets of Bangkok after your China sojourn. With the best flight to China options and beyond, China Eastern ensures your journey is filled with endless possibilities and memorable moments.
American Airlines, a titan in the aviation world, offers travelers an exciting blend of familiarity and adventure. As you set out on your journey to the Middle Kingdom, this carrier ensures you feel right at home, even as you’re about to step into a world so different. Earning a reputation as one of the best airlines that fly to China, American provides passengers with a memorable experience.
Departing from key American hubs like Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles, passengers can enjoy a direct flight to Beijing or Shanghai, two of China’s most iconic cities. And for those residing in Europe, American Airlines’ partnerships with European carriers ensure a smooth connection via the US.
One of the highlights of flying with American Airlines is the familiarity. The onboard amenities, entertainment options, and even the food menu are curated to give travelers a sense of comfort. It’s like a piece of home in the sky, ensuring you’re relaxed and rejuvenated when you touch down in China.
American Airlines is also a champion of art and culture. Their in-flight magazine often features stories about China, its history, its people, and its rapidly changing landscape. It’s a great primer, especially for first-time visitors, offering insights and tips to make the most of their trip.
Having flown with American Airlines multiple times, I can personally attest to the quality and comfort they offer. Beyond China, the airline opened doors to countless memories for me, from sipping coffee in a tucked-away Italian café to feeling the ancient aura of Greek ruins. With American Airlines, every journey feels like a personal invitation, a new chapter in a travel story that’s uniquely yours.
Based in the coastal city of Xiamen, Xiamen Airlines brings with it a breath of fresh sea air and the charm of China’s southeastern shores. As one of the best business class to China providers, this airline ensures that your journey is as serene as the Fujian coastlines it hails from.
Starting its operations in 1984, Xiamen Airlines has grown to become a significant player in the aviation world. For travelers in North America, direct flights from cities like Los Angeles and Vancouver offer a gateway to China’s vibrant landscapes. Meanwhile, those in Southeast Asia can easily hop aboard from hubs like Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
One of the standout features of Xiamen Airlines is its dedication to showcasing the rich culture of the Fujian province. Onboard, passengers are treated to Fujian delicacies, traditional music, and even documentaries that dive deep into the region’s history and attractions.
Moreover, Xiamen Airlines is at the forefront of sustainability. Their commitment to eco-friendly practices has led to initiatives that reduce carbon emissions. As such, it’s a top choice for environmentally-conscious travelers.
Did you know that Xiamen Airlines was the first Chinese carrier to order the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? This state-of-the-art aircraft, known for its fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, exemplifies the airline’s commitment to offering a top-notch flying experience. Whether you’re settling into a spacious seat or enjoying the enhanced cabin pressure and humidity levels, flights on their Dreamliner fleet are a testament to the airline’s dedication to passenger well-being.
Cathay Pacific embodies the spirit of innovation and tradition that Hong Kong is renowned for. As you soar with them, you embark on a curated journey reflecting the soul of this dynamic city.
Movie enthusiasts will appreciate Cathay Pacific’s exclusive “Hong Kong Film Festival” in the sky. This unique in-flight experience showcases award-winning films from the city’s celebrated film festivals, offering passengers a cinematic treat.
Gastronomy takes center stage on Cathay Pacific flights. Aside from the standard Cantonese offerings, the airline collaborates with top Hong Kong chefs to introduce pop-up menus. Imagine savoring dishes from Michelin-starred restaurants while cruising at 35,000 feet!
Cathay Pacific’s in-flight magazine, “Discovery,” offers a literary escape. It delves into lesser-known tales of Hong Kong, from hidden alleyways to age-old tea houses, complementing the physical voyage.
Cathay Pacific’s commitment to community shines brightly. The airline actively supports local arts and culture by sponsoring events and festivals in Hong Kong. Choosing Cathay Pacific means contributing to the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
To add a touch of magic to the journey, Cathay Pacific occasionally offers behind-the-scenes tours at Hong Kong International Airport. This experience provides a rare glimpse into the world of aviation, from bustling cargo bays to serene lounges. For travelers curious about the best airline in China, these tours highlight why Cathay Pacific consistently ranks among the top.
British Airways, with its iconic Speedbird emblem, has been a beacon of British elegance and aviation excellence for decades. When it comes to connecting the historic streets of London with the bustling avenues of Beijing or Shanghai, British Airways stands as one of the best international airlines to China.
Departing from its primary hub at London Heathrow, British Airways offers travelers a direct gateway to major Chinese cities. The airline’s commitment to quality is evident from the moment you step on board. The cabins, adorned with subtle British touches, exude a sense of class and comfort.
In-flight, passengers are treated to a delightful blend of British and Chinese cuisines. From the classic English breakfast to Cantonese dim sum, the dining experience is a testament to the airline’s dedication to celebrating both cultures.
Entertainment on British Airways is top-notch. Apart from the latest blockbusters and TV shows, the airline offers a curated selection of documentaries and features that provide insights into British and Chinese histories, cultures, and landscapes.
British Airways also takes pride in its fleet. The airline was among the first to introduce the Airbus A380, known for its spacious interiors and advanced in-flight amenities, to routes connecting London and China. This ensures passengers experience the pinnacle of air travel.
For travelers looking to explore beyond China, British Airways’ extensive network across Europe and the world offers countless opportunities. Whether it’s the romantic allure of Paris, the historic charm of Rome, or the scenic beauty of the Scottish Highlands, British Airways ensures that the journey is as memorable as the destination.
Often referred to as the “jewel of the skies,” Singapore Airlines epitomizes the essence of Singapore – a harmonious blend of tradition, innovation, and unparalleled luxury. Recognized as one of the best airlines to fly to China, it consistently ranks among the world’s top airlines, earning accolades and admiration from travelers worldwide.
At the pinnacle of its offerings stands the Singapore Airlines Suite. This exclusive first-class experience offers passengers a private sanctuary in the sky. With sliding doors, standalone beds, and plush leather armchairs designed by Poltrona Frau, passengers are enveloped in a realm of serenity and opulence. The meticulous attention to detail, from hand-stitched embellishments to the personalized service from the airline’s esteemed cabin crew, elevates the flying experience.
Luxury permeates every class. Singapore Airlines’ economy class sets a benchmark. Ergonomically designed seats with generous legroom, adjustable headrests, and a cutting-edge entertainment system ensure comfort throughout the journey.
Dining onboard is a gastronomic delight. While passengers can choose from a diverse menu, the satay chicken, grilled to perfection and accompanied by a rich peanut sauce, remains a favorite among many.
Singapore Airlines’ commitment to excellence shines through in every aspect. Significant investments in staff training ensure that each interaction, from a warm greeting to a thoughtful gesture, enhances the passenger experience. When you embark on a journey with Singapore Airlines, from the bustling streets of Singapore to the vast landscapes of China, you’re treated as a cherished guest, every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Airlines to Fly to China
If you’re still curious about what airlines fly to China, here are some common questions that might help you decide.
Choosing the best airline to China often depends on individual preferences and priorities. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:
- Hainan Airlines: Known for its luxurious five-star service, it offers a top-tier experience with amenities like gourmet meals and spacious seating.
- Air China: As the national flag carrier, it provides extensive direct routes from numerous global cities and showcases Chinese hospitality.
- Cathay Pacific: Based in Hong Kong, it offers a unique blend of Eastern and Western amenities, with layover options to explore the vibrant city.
- Singapore Airlines: Renowned for its in-flight dining and service, it’s a top choice for those who appreciate gourmet meals and the latest entertainment.
- China Southern: One of the largest airlines in Asia, it offers affordable options without compromising on service quality.
Several airlines offer direct flights from the U.S. to China. Travel between the two countries has never been more convenient!
- American Airlines: Flies directly from hubs like Dallas and Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai.
- Air China: Connects major U.S. cities, including San Francisco and New York, directly to Beijing.
- China Eastern: Offers non-stop flights from cities like Los Angeles to Shanghai, with modern aircraft and amenities.
- Hainan Airlines: Known for its luxury services, it connects cities like Boston and Seattle directly to Beijing.
- Xiamen Airlines: Provides seamless connections from Los Angeles to Xiamen, a coastal city known for its scenic beauty.
Typically, the off-peak seasons, which are late winter (February) and late autumn (November), tend to offer more affordable flights to China. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor flight prices and deals regularly.
What airlines fly out to China?
Numerous airlines fly to China, both from international destinations and within the country. Here’s a list of some major airlines that operate flights to and from China:
- Air China – The flag carrier and one of the major airlines of China, with its hub in Beijing.
- China Eastern Airlines – Based in Shanghai, it’s one of China’s major airlines.
- China Southern Airlines – One of the world’s largest airlines by passengers carried, headquartered in Guangzhou.
- Hainan Airlines – Based in Haikou and Beijing, it’s known for its high-quality service.
- Shanghai Airlines – A subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines.
- Shenzhen Airlines – Based in Shenzhen and a member of the Star Alliance.
- XiamenAir – Formerly known as Xiamen Airlines, based in Xiamen, Fujian Province.
- Sichuan Airlines – Based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
- Spring Airlines – A low-cost carrier based in Shanghai.
International Airlines with Flights to China:
- United Airlines – U.S.-based airline with several routes to China.
- Delta Air Lines – Another major U.S. carrier with routes to China.
- American Airlines – U.S. airline with flights to major Chinese cities.
- Cathay Pacific – Hong Kong-based airline with extensive routes to mainland China.
- Singapore Airlines – Operates several routes to China from Singapore.
- Korean Air & Asiana Airlines – South Korean airlines with numerous flights to China.
- Japan Airlines & All Nippon Airways (ANA) – Japanese carriers with multiple routes to China.
- Qantas – Australian airline with flights to major Chinese cities.
- Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, and many other European carriers also operate flights to China.
Layovers can enhance your travel experience, offering a glimpse of another city. Here are airlines that provide intriguing layover options:
- Cathay Pacific: Layovers in Hong Kong come with options to explore the city’s iconic skyline and culinary delights.
- Singapore Airlines: Stop in Singapore and take advantage of layover packages that include hotel stays, city tours, and access to local attractions.
- Qatar Airways: Experience a taste of the Middle East with layovers in Doha, exploring its modern architecture and traditional souks.
- Emirates: Dubai stopovers offer a blend of luxury shopping, desert adventures, and cultural experiences.
Absolutely! Many major airlines offer loyalty programs that allow you to redeem points or miles for flights to China. For instance, if you’re a member of the British Airways Executive Club, you can use Avios points to book a flight to China. This often comes with the added benefit of choosing from partner airlines within the Oneworld alliance.
Choosing the best flights from the UK to China has never been easier, thanks to several airlines offering direct routes.
- British Airways: Connects London Heathrow directly to major Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai, with daily flights and premium services.
- Air China: Offers daily non-stop routes from London to Beijing, with a fleet that includes the latest aircraft models.
- China Eastern: Provides direct connections from London to Shanghai, ensuring passengers experience Chinese hospitality from the moment they board.
- Hainan Airlines: A luxury option that links Manchester to Beijing, offering travelers in the North a convenient route to China.
- China Southern: With its hub in Guangzhou, it offers UK travelers a chance to explore southern China with direct flights from London.
What is the best way to travel from US to China?
Traveling from the U.S. to China is relatively straightforward, with several options available depending on your preferences, budget, and starting location. Here’s a guide to the best ways to travel from the U.S. to China:
- By Air:
- Direct Flights: Many major U.S. cities offer direct flights to key Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. Airlines like Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, and American carriers like United, Delta, and American Airlines operate these routes.
- Connecting Flights: If you’re not located near a major U.S. hub or if you’re traveling to a less common destination in China, you might have a layover in another Asian city like Seoul, Tokyo, or Taipei.
- Choosing an Airport: China is vast, so choose an airport that’s closest to your final destination or one that offers convenient domestic connections.
- By Sea:
- Cruises: Some cruises sail from the U.S. to China, often as part of a more extensive Asia-Pacific itinerary. These cruises can offer a luxurious and leisurely way to travel, but they take much longer than flying and are typically more expensive.
Why is flying to China so expensive?
Flying to China can be expensive for several reasons. Here are some reasons why flights to China might be on the pricier side:
- Distance and Fuel Costs: For travelers coming from distant locations, such as North America, Europe, or Oceania, the sheer distance to China can result in higher fuel costs, which are often passed on to the consumer.
- Airport and Landing Fees: Airports in China might charge higher landing and operational fees, which can increase the overall ticket price.
- Taxes and Duties: Some countries impose higher taxes on international flights, which can contribute to the overall cost.
- Demand and Supply: China is a major global business hub and a popular tourist destination. High demand, especially during peak seasons or major events, can drive up prices. Additionally, if there’s limited seat availability on direct routes, prices are likely to rise.
- Limited Promotions: While airlines often offer promotions or discounts for certain destinations, there might be fewer promotional fares available for popular routes to China.
- Economic Factors: Currency fluctuations, inflation rates, and other economic factors in both the departure and destination countries can influence flight prices.
- Operational Costs: Airlines have to consider various operational costs, including crew wages, maintenance, and services, which can be higher for long-haul flights.
- Political and Regulatory Factors: Political tensions or trade disputes can sometimes affect flight operations and prices.
- Route Monopolies: On certain routes, especially less popular ones, there might be limited competition among airlines. Fewer airlines operating on a route can lead to higher prices.
Traveling to China presents an opportunity to explore a nation rich in history, culture, and modern marvels. With a plethora of airlines offering routes to this vast country, selecting the perfect carrier can be a task in itself. From luxury suites in the sky to budget-friendly options without compromising on comfort, there’s an airline tailored to every traveler’s needs.
Finding the best deals requires a mix of flexibility, research, and timing. Subscribing to airline newsletters and setting up fare alerts can keep you informed about promotional offers and flash sales. Additionally, consider traveling during off-peak seasons or mid-week for more competitive fares. Loyalty programs are another avenue to explore; accruing points or miles can lead to significant savings or even complimentary flights in the future.
In the end, the journey to China is not just about reaching a destination. It’s about the experience, the service, and the memories created en route. With the right airline, your adventure begins the moment you step on board, setting the tone for an unforgettable exploration of the Middle Kingdom.