Hainan Airlines’ new route to Istanbul Atatürk marks the airline’s first destination in Turkey and seventh in Europe. The important new route called for the crew operating the first flight to be celebrated with flowers.
- Hainan Airlines launched three new routes in the last week; two domestic and one international. On 11 July, the airline launched a route from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) via Ürümqi (URC) in northwestern China to Istanbul Atatürk (IST), its first route to Turkey and seventh European destination. Istanbul is also the airline’s first European destination not to be served from Beijing, although Hainan Airlines serves Brussels from both Beijing and Shanghai. Flights on the new route operate twice-weekly with A330 aircraft. The Shanghai to Ürümqi sector faces competition from China Southern’s 10 and China Eastern’s seven flights a week. On 15 July, Hainan Airlines then launched two domestic routes, both with 164-seat 737-800s. From Guilin (KWL), the airline now flies four times weekly to Guangzhou (CAN). The two airports in southern China, which are 390 kilometres apart, are also connected 40 times a week by China Southern and daily by Shanghai Airlines. Hainan Airlines also began flying daily from Nanjing (NKG) in eastern China via Taiyuan (TYN) in the north of the country to Ürümqi (URC). Competition on the first sector of the route comes from China Eastern’s 24 flights a week, while Xiamen Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines fly daily and Shandong Airlines three times a week. Between Taiyuan and Ürümqi, competition comes from Xiamen Airlines’ and Shenzhen Airlines’ daily flights as well as China Southern’s six and Shandong Airlines’ two flights a week.