China Southern Airlines has started its flights between Lahore and Urumqi, the capital of China’s Uygur autonomous region. China Southern is one of the big three airlines in China and currently it used to operate flights to Islamabad from its Urumqi hub. The airline that was always seen at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto airport with its Boeing 757 the provided a vital connection for many business travellers as well as students who go for medical education. The first flight took off from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International airport on Thursday 21st June.
China Southern currently flies to Pakistani capital six times a week minus Friday. Now the airline has started direct flights from Lahore to Urumqi. There will be two weekly flights in the beginning, on Thursdays and Sundays. Later in July, the airline will also start flights to Guangzhou, China competing directly with Shaheen Air international on the route. A route PIA is planning to open up in coming weeks.
China Southern flight CZ6017 from Urumqi will depart at 8.00 AM in the morning and reach Lahore 8.15 AM same day. The return flight CZ-6018 will depart at 9.35AM and reach Urumqi at 3.20 PM. The airline will be using its modern Boeing 737-800 on the Lahore route. Interestingly Shaheen Air International flights to Guangzhou are also operated on Thursdays and Sundays.
On the other hand, PIA is still planning and considering to launch Guangzhou flights while Shaheen is sticking to its 2 flights a week on its Airbus A330-200 aircraft. It will be interesting to see more traffic towards China as Serene Air also showed interest in launching flights to the Chinese city.