update (28 Dec 2011): SSouth African Airways has revised its planned operational schedule for the new Johannesburg <> Beijing route, due to start from 31 Jan 2012.
The new schedule results in operational day changes out of Beijing, which currently remains subject to Government Approval. Plan for 3 weekly Airbus A340-600 operation remains unchanged.
South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways, will launch a direct service between Johannesburg and Beijing in China. The inaugural flight is scheduled to depart on Tuesday 31 January 2012 from Johannesburg to arrive in Beijing, China,on Wednesday 01 February 2012.
Introducing direct flights to Beijing is in line with SAA’s strategy to expand its network to Asia, the fastest growing market in the world. South African Airways will operate the route three times a week. The route will be served by the Airbus A340-600 aircraft, which have the capacity to operate the route directly all year round with no passenger payload restrictions. Flying time between Johannesburg and Beijing takes on average 15 hours.