Etihad Moves Fifth Freedom Japan Flight To Beijing Daxing

Etihad has become the latest airline to announce a move to Beijing’s new Daxing Airport. The announcement comes just around half a year since the airport officially opened its runways to the skies.

Etihad Airways, Beijing Daxing, Fifth Freedom
Etihad Airways will switch to Beijing Daxing in June. Photo: Getty Images

With the recent outbreak of coronavirus sweeping the world, there’s been little good news to report with regards to Chinese aviation. However, today we can report some good news, at least for Beijing’s new Daxing Airport. United Arab Emirates flag carrier Etihad had announced it will switch its Beijing services to the airport. This includes the carrier’s fifth freedom service between Beijing and Nagoya which is currently suspended.

Etihad’s Beijing Move

Etihad has announced intentions to move to Beijing Daxing Airport this summer. The United Arab Emirates flag carrier plans to make the switch to Daxing from the 1st of June 2020. The announcement comes around 12 years after the carrier initially began serving Beijing.

Etihad operates its fifth freedom flight between Beijing and Nagoya daily as a tag onto its light from Abu Dhabi. However, the fifth freedom portion of this flight is currently suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in east Asia.

Etihad Airways, Beijing Daxing, Fifth Freedom
Beijing opened its runways in late September 2019. Photo: Etihad Airways

Speaking of the change of scenery in Beijing, Robin Kamark, Etihad Aviation Group’ Chief Commercial Officer said:

“In October last year, Abu Dhabi Airports Company inked a sister-airport partnership with Beijing Daxing International Airport, which will strengthen the capital-to-capital link. Today, we are proud to announce that Etihad Airways will be one of the first airlines in the region to move to Beijing’s iconic Daxing International Airport.”

The new schedule

Flights will switch over to Beijing Daxing from the 1st of June 2020. From this date, they will be operated daily by a Boeing 787 to the following schedule (pending the resumption of Nagoya services):

  • EY 888 will depart from Abu Dhabi (AUH) at 21:30. It is due to arrive in Beijing (PKX) at 08:50 the next day.
  • EY 888 will then depart from Beijing (PKX) at 10:30, before arriving in Nagoya (NGO) at 14:25.
  • EY 889 will depart from Nagoya at 16:00. It is due to arrive back in Beijing at 18:30.
  • EY 889 will then finally depart from Beijing at 20:10. It is due to arrive back in Abu Dhabi at 00:55 the next day.
Etihad Airways, Beijing Daxing, Fifth Freedom
Etihad operates its fifth freedom flight to Nagoya via Beijing. Photo: GCmap

Beijing Daxing – other carriers

Beijing Daxing opened its doors to passengers, and runways to aircraft back on the 25th of September. Initially, a number of Chinese carriers moved domestic services to the new aviation hub. Then, around a month later on the 27th of October, British Airways became the first international carrier to grace the airport.

Since then a number of other carriers have moved to the airport or announced moves. Some of these carriers include LOT Polish Airlines, Delta Airlines, and oneworld member S7 Airlines. The new airport was designed to supplement Beijing’s Capital Airport.

Do you think switching to Beijing Daxing will make a huge difference to the UAE carrier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.