Is Air China preparing to fly between Beijing and Havana?
The aviation rumor mill believes so. There's a spirit discussion on the message board airliners.net in which a tipster predicts Air China will begin flights from Beijing to Havana, with a stopover in Montreal, beginning in September. Apparently, Air China would use a Boeing 777-300ER.
I generally find the tipsters at Airliners.net to be reliable, but I have not been able to corroborate the route on my own. I tried to make a mock booking on AirChina.com, but neither Havana nor Montreal showed up. The message board discussion also includes other new Air China routes, all of which sound plausible and likely, such as Beijing to Melbourne and Beijing to Mumbai.
Can an airline possibly make money flying from Beijing to Montreal to Havana? It sounds impossible. But perhaps there are political conditions at play? Or maybe the Chinese are just looking for a new beach destination. It's also likely that Air China will be able to carry Canadian passengers on the Havana leg, but even then, I'm not sure how this all works if the goal is to make a profit.