London Gatwick Airport on Saturday 25 June welcomed the first service from Tianjin Airlines. The HNA Group subsidiary will operate twice-weekly to Tianjin via Chongqing using its recently acquired (from Hainan Airlines) A330-200. It becomes the fourth Chinese carrier (and sixth in all) to offer non-stop flights between London and China.
- Tianjin Airlines has become the fourth Chinese carrier (after Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines) to serve London. On 25 June the airline, a subsidiary of HNA Group (which also includes Hainan Airlines), began twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) service from Tianjin (TSN) to London Gatwick (LGW) via Chongqing (CKG) using its 260-seat A330-200. The airline faces no competition on either route. Mr Robert Chen, GM UK for Tianjin Airlines, said: “We’re proud to be helping British passengers to explore the relatively unknown destinations of Tianjin and Chongqing in China. As well as falling in love with our beautiful country – which we’re sure they will – we hope British travellers enjoy Tianjin Airlines’ high quality service and unbeatable price. We look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.” At 8,536-kilometres the Chongqing to London sector easily becomes the airline’s longest non-stop service beating the 5,914-kilometre sector from Tianjin to Moscow Sheremetyevo. None of the other 177 routes operated by the carrier is longer than 3,000 kilometres.