Earlier this week, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) announced that it granted Urumqi Air the permission to operate daily flights to Nagoya.
With that, the Chinese low-cost airline is ready to add a Japanese destination to its network map for the first time.
Urumqi Air’s Upcoming Nagoya Services
According to MLIT’s announcement, Urumqi Air has received permission to operate direct flights from Urumqi to Nagoya Centrair every day. None of the flights will be non-stop, though. Instead, they will operate three times a week via Wuhan and four times a week via Jinan.
The flights from Urumqi (URC) to Nagoya (NGO) via Wuhan (WUH) will operate with the following schedule starting on December 30, 2019:
- UQ2657 / URC – WUH / 7:05AM – 11:25AM (Mon, Wed & Fri)
- UQ2657 / WUH – NGO / 1:05PM – 5:15PM (Mon, Wed & Fri)
- UQ2658 / NGO – WUH / 6:45PM – 10:05PM (Mon, Wed & Fri)
- UQ2658 / WUH – URC / 11:55PM – 4:20AM (Fri, slightly different on Mon & Wed)
The flights operating via Jinan (TNA) will operate from December 31, 2019, with the following schedule:
- UQ2659 / URC – TNA / 7:30AM – 12:00PM (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
- UQ2659 / TNA – NGO / 1:30PM – 5:15PM (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
- UQ2660 / NGO – TNA / 6:45PM – 9:15PM (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
- UQ2660 / TNA – URC / 11:50PM – 4:30AM+1 (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
Urumqi Air will use Boeing 737-800s in all-economy configuration with 189 seats on the new flights.
Currently, there are no direct flights between Urumqi and Nagoya. China Southern operates flights from Wuhan to Nagoya twice a week and Shandong Airlines connects the Japanese city with Jinan three times a week.
As for Urumqi Air, the airline started operations in 2014 and since then has developed a network of about 30 domestic destinations served mainly out of its hub in Urumqi.
It’s only international destination right now is Singapore which it serves from Urumqi via Wuhan five times a week. It’s first international route was a short-lived Urumqi – Irkutsk route which launched in June 2018.
Nagoya will be the airline’s first destination in Japan.
Just like Osaka Kansai, Nagoya Centrair has seen a considerable increase in the number of flights to China. Most recently, Loong Air launched flights from Xi’an at the beginning of November – with flights from Hangzhou expected to start tomorrow.
Urumqi Air will be another addition to the growing list of Chinese airlines serving the airport. I’m sure the new flights will be welcome by both plane spotters as well as the airport operator – after all, the Chinese are the biggest duty free spenders at Kansai airport and likely at Nagoya airport as well.