Planing on going during Spring Festival (leave before, come back after)
KLM from Chengdu seems a BIT expensive these day, so what are the alternatives?
I have never flown Aeroflot, but I have met travelers who scored cheap tickets from Europe to China.
Also, routing through Dubai could find a lower fare.
Finally, there is a Chongqing to Helsinki flight.
I haven't tried any of the above.
I don't like saying this but KLM may be the best option. Our needs are the opposite to yours: to fly from a UK provincial airport to Chengdu. While we can find cheaper flights (the best was about £100 less than KLM for a return) they all involved extended periods waiting in airports (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Paris, Dubai etc), more changes and much longer time flying, as well as using some less well known airlines. Unless another well known European airline decides to fly into Chengdu and provide some competition to KLM then we're stuck with the choice of either a higher fare with reasonable journey time or a reduced fare but with excessive journey time. For the moment we'll stick with KLM.
Try Finnair. They just opened a route earlier this year from Chongqing to Helsinki - they have a lot of promotion as the planes are flying with empty seats still.
as far as I know, Aeroflot flies from Beijing to Moscow and it's cheap and reliable. However, flying from Chengdu you need to change both in Beijing and Moscow, so the flight time is going to be long.
@alex @marky @ggggg
thanks for your input. I checked aeroflot and finnair, but qualityman seems right, KLM is still cheaper than either. Especially Finnair has some ridiculously expensive flights to Europe (some dates 4000 EURO)
etihad also seems to be more expensive than KLM
I flew Etihad this summer from Chengdu to Paris. Long layover in Abu Dhabi but I think it was only about 2500RMB one way. It was the cheapest I could find. Good inflight service, though no one on board could speak Chinese. I had to translate for half the flight...
Maybe try www.kayak.com. I've found they show you all the possible flights you can take as well as the price. Sometimes if you just use that as a reference and then check out the individual airlines' websites you can find a better deal.
Sometimes these guys have pretty good deals, too. Check out their international flight specials. www.ctrip.com
www.elong.com sometimes has something good but more often than not it's the same as ctrip.
thanks. yes unlike in the past that kayak.com site is quite useful now if you want to scan for cheap options (even for chinese destinations that google flights doesn't show).
But Ctrip doesn't have many REAL European flight specials for Chengdu, neither does Elong or qunar.com. I also don't like that they don't show the full fare incl. tax from the beginning. So some flights cost 3000 and taxes are 4500! so 150% of the fare???
Etihad is indeed an option and for a lot of destinations in the same price league as KLM/AirFrance (which they cooperate with anyways).
But there is no refund or change of flights possible, unless you throw in another RMB1,000 per person! On the other hand a free night at one of their hotels in Abu Dhabi with a run to the beach could be nice (and additional nights are cheap anyways).
On a second check Finnair actually has the cheapest flights (I guess it had a bug last time i checked). But is it worth to do a return trip to Chongqing for 500rmb? (especially if you have to arrive the day before to catch the morning flight to Helsinki). mmh
And yes Aeroflot flights from Beijing are really cheap if you happen to be in Beijing. The problem is the Chengdu-Beijing return flight fare around spring festival is really high.
Depending on the date there are also cheap China Southern and Air China flights to Europe (cheap, but not cheaper and at the same fare there is no reason to book a Chinese airline unless the connection is superb).
I used to fly via Hong Kong in the past, which is still a cheap option for flights to Europe with Lufthansa or Singapore Air if you get a cheap Chengdu-Hongkong (or Shenzhen) return flights.
Earlier this week we booked flights for just after the Spring Festival. Looked at KLM - usual price. However, we found return flights said to be with China Southern from UK airport via Amsterdam then to Chengdu (and return) and at exactly the same times as the KLM flights, ie code sharing, at 20 - 25% cheaper !!! Just goes to show you need to look very carefully.
Wow. That's strange. I thought KLM shares flights with AirFrance already. So it's a shared flight with China Southern?
Skyteam alliance members have a high chance to code share.
Not common information, but China Southern and China Eastern are now full skyteam members. The China Airlines is the Taiwan national carrier.
Unless it's much cheaper, I would rather fly on a real KLM flight than a China Southern flight. It would have to be really cheap for me to choose a China Eastern international flight.
Yes, I booked that flight as well. It's actually a KLM flight operated by China Southern. According to Expedia.
British Airways has a promotion running till January 6 for flights after September 22 next year
London to Chengdu £508 RMB5,140 return incl. taxes and charges.
British Airways to launch direct flights to Chengdu
what's happening? Suddenly everyone wants to fly to Chengdu?
AirBerlin expands codeshare deal
so cheap Chengdu-Berlin flights four times a week
For cheap international flights please contact me at this number 13550312496 I'd be happy to help you find the best deal!
so finally we got cheap aeroflot tickets to berlin from beijing 700usd total. currently beijing-chengu tickets are so cheap it makes the aeroflot flight still much cheaper than ethihad, klm or finnair offers and none of the return flights is really direct you have to change the plane twice anyways and wait hours in some random airport.
damnit now that i booked the flight air china announces are new Chengdu-Frankfurt flight for May
quick feedback. aeroflot: bad service (like displaying the right gate for your flight) and bad connections, food is bad and monotonous, staff reluctant to speak anything but Russian with a dialect and looks annoyed if you ask for an extra minicup of water, the aerofllot flight before ours apparently lost all the luggage.
our luggage was a bit damaged here and there. only good thing is the price, but that's only an argument when you're on a shoestring budget backpacking the world.
Not to Europe, but some pretty good deals for Australia. I just picked up some cheap flights to Melbourne with Sichuan Airways. They have a new route opening next week.
Also there is a new budget airline operating out of Singapore called FlyScoot - they had Singapore to Melbourne flights for 1000RMB for a lot of days. You can pick up Chengdu to Singapore tickets for around 600 to 2000 if you book in advance.
lufthansa is currently promoting their china flights, but nothing below RMB7,000 for return flights to Europe. I guess that's the price lufthansa will be charging for their chengdu - frankfurt connection.
so Air China has started there Frankfurt flights from Chengdu three times a week. Cheapest possible fare is RMB7,000 for return. btw their site is really annoying.
British Airways flights to London Heathrow start in September. Cheapest i found with taxes is RMB8,000 for a return flight.
Qunar now has flights deals listed from Chengdu to Europe
For the above qunar link you'd have to use the desktop version, not the mobile dummy.
Another option for cheap flights would be looking for nearby destinations (SE Asia) you'd always wanted to go, chances are that return flights to and from there and then to/from Europe combined cost the same or even less. That is because of Chengdu's geographical location & monopoly for airlines to international destinations.
Found a new flight comparison site which searches for lowest prices throughout the year
Looks like ticket prices are coming down, finally.
Sichuan Airlines has a supercheap direct flights from Chengdu to Prague (twice a week) for less than 300 USD one way (less than 450 USD return). You could add 30 USD extra you could even fly from Bangkok or Phuket on that deal.
Hainan Airlines has some cheap flights to Berlin via Beijing also around 300 USD one way. And occasionally KLM offers flights in this price range via Amsterdam (like Bruxelles or Prague). But if you don't have claimed luggage and want to fly to Amsterdam you could book a flight with KLM to one of the cheaper location and just get off in Amsterdam:)