The main international gateways to mainland China are Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Almost every sizable city will have an international airport, but options are usually limited to flights from Hong Kong, neighbouring countries such as South Korea and Japan, and
While many major airlines now fly to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, budget seats are often scarce. For good offers, book as early as possible. Tickets are particularly expensive or hard to come by at the beginning or end of summer when Chinese students abroad return home or fly back to their universities around the world. As with other travel in China, tickets can be difficult to get and will be expensive around Chinese New Year.
If you live in a city with a sizable overseas Chinese community (such as Toronto, San Francisco, Sydney or London), check for cheap flights with someone in that community or visit travel agencies operated by Chinese. Sometimes flights advertised only in Chinese newspapers or travel agencies cost significantly less than posted fares in English. However if you go and ask, you can get the same discount price.
Airlines and Routes
China's carriers are growing rapidly. Airbus estimates the size of China’s passenger aircraft fleet will triple from 1,400 planes in 2009 to 4,200 planes in 2029.
They are also working hard at becoming highly competitive in both service and pricing. Airlines include China Southern, China Eastern, Air China, and Hainan Airlines.
Fliers may prefer Asian airlines as they generally have more cabin staff and quality service. Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific is an obvious possibility. Other candidates include Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Garuda Indonesia. Korean Air often has good prices on flights from various places in Asia such as Bangkok via Seoul to North America. Connecting flights may be cheaper than direct flights so keep this in mind. Korean Air