The privately owned Hainan Airlines who are currently China’s fourth biggest carrier have announced plans to expand their UK Network.
The news comes after Britain and China signed a deal to increase flights between the two countires by 50% to 150 per week. The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling said that the the agreement will support a rise in routes from regional airports.
The route application Hainan have put to the UK government includes three new routes, all of which are currently unserved. They are as follows:
1. Changsha – London on a three times weekly service starting in March 2018
2. Beijing – Edinburgh – Dublin / Beijing – Dublin – Edinburgh on a twice weekly service starting in June 2018
3. Guangzhou – Manchester on a three times weekly service from December 2018
Hainan currently serve England on only one route: Beijing to Manchester. The route is operated by the airlines A330 aircraft and is reported to be worth £250 million in economic benefits to the UK over the next decade.
The Chinese market has been hotting up over the recent years with eight airlines currently operating direct routes to China, three to Hong Kong and one to Taipei.
While Hainan will be the only airline operating the above routes, they face heavy competition on all Chinese routes from major competitors such as Air China (who I will be reviewing this summer), British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, China Eastern, Capital Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and China Southern (who I will also be reviewing on several aircraft this summer).
If these routes are accepted, it will result in Hainan operating an Edinburgh – Dublin route with, hopefully, a Boeing 787 aircraft. This will undoubtedly pull aviation fanatics from all over the UK and Ireland in! With taxes in Ireland being as low as they are, you could be flying the 787 for a real bargain.
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