From Wednesday, the UAE’s national airline's route will become the first regular direct international passenger flight to recommence to the Chinese city, under the latest mandate of China's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council.
The weekly flight will operate on the fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The inaugural flight, EY 888, will take off from Abu Dhabi at 6pm local time and land in China at 5.25am local time on Wednesday, June 29. It will return at 7.10am in Abu Dhabi on Friday, July 1.
"Etihad Airways is delighted about the resumption of passenger services between Abu Dhabi and Beijing, our second service to resume to China,” said Martin Drew, senior vice president of global sales and cargo at Etihad Aviation Group.
“China has always been an important strategic market for Etihad and the resumption of direct flights between the two capital cities will further strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the United Arab Emirates.”
Etihad first resumed services to China in July 2020, when it restarted its Shanghai route to meet the demand of passengers travelling between the two countries.
Covid-19 rules for flying to Beijing from Abu Dhabi
The Chinese authorities have imposed a temporary cap on the number of passengers that can travel from Abu Dhabi to Beijing, according to Etihad’s website.
Before you depart the UAE, you must be fully vaccinated for more than 14 days and hold proof of inoculation. This includes a booster dose, if applicable, of any WHO-approved vaccine. If you have three doses of an approved vaccine, you do not require a booster dose, unless your last dose was more than six months ago. If you do require a booster dose, then it must be taken more than 14 days before departure.
Unvaccinated travellers are not being accepted on this flight at this time, unless they are children under the age of 18.
If you transit from a third country to China via the UAE, you must have been staying in the UAE for at least 28 days before departing to Beijing.
All passengers travelling to China must undergo two PCR tests within 48 hours before departure, one of which must be 12 hours before departure.
Etihad requires all passengers to undergo serum IgM antibody testing within 48 hours before departure.
These tests must be done at an approved testing facility, the list of which can be found on Etihad’s website.
For full rules on PCR testing requirements from the Chinese Embassy, check this link in English.
If someone you are travelling with on the same booking tests positive, you may be denied travel on the basis of close contact even if you test negative, according to Etihad’s website.
Children are not exempt from these testing requirements.
Blue Health code
Before travelling to China, passengers need to apply for a Blue Health code, which you will need to show before you check-in for the flight. The procedure for doing this is outlined on Etihad’s website.
You will also need to fill out a health declaration form.