Karen Whyte, Reservations Department Supervisor, Travelopia, was the winner of two tickets to Beijing at the Hainan Airlines roadshow in Dublin hosted by Ryan Zhang, General Manager Ireland, and Edel Redmond, Dublin Airport.
Hainan Airlines will commence a four-times-weekly A330-300 service from Dublin to Beijing (two via Edinburgh) on 12th June 2018. The flight time will be 10h50m non-stop from Dublin or 14h0m via Edinburgh.
Manchester-based Ryan Zhang, who originally proposed the route to senior airline management, told Irish Travel Trade News: “We expect the majority of passengers to be tourists from China and the route will bring the number of our destinations in western Europe to nine.”
Tourism Ireland estimates that about 70,000 Chinese visitors came to the island of Ireland last year, up from 60,000 visitors in 2016. China is the world’s largest outbound travel market, with trips from China predicted to increase to 200 million per year by 2020.
Edel Redmond, B2B Senior Marketing Executive, Dublin Airport, said: “The launch of this route is a milestone for us – and it has been ‘in the works’ for a long time! After Dublin, the Hainan Airlines roadshow will be visiting Cork, Limerick and Belfast.”
The A330-300 being used on the route will offer 292 seats, 32 in Business Class and 260 in Economy Class.
Business Class seats, in a 2x2x2 configuration, have 74-80” pitch, a fully flat bed, 15.4” HD screen, Bvlgari amenity kit, and Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Menus are prepared by Michelin-starred chefs and served by an onboard chef.
Hainan Airlines is currently negotiating a limousine contract for complimentary Business Class transfers to and from Dublin Airport.
Economy Class seats, in a 2x4x2 configuration, have a 31-32” pitch and 10.6” screen. As in Business Class, a choice of western and Chinese dishes is offered.
Fortune Wings Club
The airline’s frequent flyer programme, Fortune Wings Club, has a mileage-based points system and can be managed by travel agents.
There is a dedicated website and rewards can be redeemed on 11 partner airlines, including Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia.
Fortune Wings Club members (Fortune Wings Card and Selected Card holders) who book flight tickets on the airline’s website and fly Business Class can directly upgrade to Gold or Silver status after registering.
Hainan Airlines was established in January 1993, is privately owned by the Haikou-based HNA Group, and is the fourth largest airline in China. The Group, which acquired Dublin-based Avolon in April 2017, was ranked 170 in the 2017 Fortune Global 500 list.
The airline has won the SkyTrax 5-star rating for the past seven years and is the first Chinese mainland airline to join SkyTrax’s World’s Top 10 Airlines list.
The average age of Hainan’s fleet of 300+ aircraft is less than five years.