|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 19% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||March||Best time to find cheap flights, 6% potential price drop|
|Average price||$732||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||$377||From Melbourne to Shanghai|
May, September and October are the high season months when many Australians take cheap flights to China. Package tours are especially popular, such as cruising the Yangtze River or the visiting the Terracotta Army in Xi’an. But for those wishing to do independent travel then the trains are amazing in China; clean, affordable and extremely fast. Bus travel by comfortable coach is also a popular option if you’re exploring more than one city. These major public holiday dates usually see flights to China fill up quickly and make accommodation more difficult to find: Chinese New Year (Jan/Feb), Labour Day (1 to 3 May), Dragon Boat Festival (May/June) and University Holidays (June to September / January to February).
Late November to February are the Chinese winter months which, in some regions, can be bitterly cold. So depending on the nature of your visit you may consider booking your flight to China at a different time. But because the country is so vast, there are other places where the temperatures are actually quite mild. Subtropical Hong Kong in the south for instance usually enjoys a temperate climate all year-round with temperatures around 16C in January.
Some pre-planning is necessary once you’ve found your cheap flights to China. This is a populous country so don’t book until you’ve checked the climate of the region you’re visiting, accommodation availability and whether your dates fall on a public holiday. Organised tours are a good choice in this respect as they can take the hassle out of obtaining tickets for tours and hotel rooms. For the cheapest flights to China during peak season book more than three months in advance.
There are many airlines operating international flights to China from Australian cities, including national carriers China Southern Airlines, Air China and China Eastern Airlines. China Southern Airlines handles over a third of all non-stop flights between Sydney and China and operates 14 direct flights per week. Beijing International Airport connects domestic flights to almost all the airports in China.
Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is located 30 km north east of the city centre and is connected by rail, bus and taxi. The Airport Express Train takes 30 minutes and is the quickest way to reach the CBD after you have got off your flight. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is served by the high speed Maglev Train which reaches speeds of up to 431 km/h, taking just eight minutes to cover the 30 km trip to the CBD.