2015 marks the year when Air China returns to Africa. Back in the 1970s, Air China started its nonstop service to Africa. This year coincides with the South Africa-China Year. Johannesburg will be the first destination Air China will begin to serve on October 29, after many years of absence from the African market, and the new service will further solidify the political, economic and cultural exchanges between China and Africa.
This will be the first air link offered by a Chinese carrier between Mainland China and South Africa and also Air China's first route to Africa. The origins of the friendly China-Africa relationship go back to the ancient Silk Road of dynastic China's Qin (221-207 BC) and Han (202 BC-220 AD) periods. Today, the "One Belt, One Road" initiative proposed by the Chinese government will bring new opportunities of cooperation between China and Africa. Air China's forthcoming Beijing-Johannesburg service will be a "Silk Road in the Air" and a new bridge of international cooperation, bringing Asia and Africa closer and facilitating the exchanges between China and Africa. This year, Air China will also start Beijing-Addis Ababa service. The two routes are part of Air China's endeavor to build its global route network with its hub in Beijing.
The flights CA867/8 Beijing-Johannesburg are to be operated on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday (outbound) and on Monday/Wednesday/Friday (inbound). The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 23:15 Beijing time, and arrives in Johannesburg at 7:35 local time on the following day. The inbound flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:50 local time and arrives in Beijing at 7:30 Beijing time. The flights are to be operated with Boeing 777-300ER.