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Week 49


HNA Group launches route attack on UK

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December 9th 2016

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Haikou-headquartered HNA Group this week confirmed five new nonstop routes from China to the UK in 2017. Read More » Hainan will fly to London from Changsha (April), Chengdu (January) and Shenzhen (August). Hainan subsidiaries, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines, plan to start Qingdao-London and Tianjin-Xian-London, respectively.

Tianjin Airlines opened its twice a week Tianjin-Chongqing-Gatwick A330-200 service in June and Hainan Airlines flies four times a week between Beijing and Manchester. In April, Robert Chen, Tianjin general manager for the UK, said: “A pricing penetration strategy will be adopted by Tianjin Airlines to win the UK market.”

"Hainan Airlines will make full use of the opportunities created by the Air Service Agreement to further explore and develop the British market together with VisitBritain," said Sun Jianfeng, president of Hainan Airlines. In October, authorities agreed to raise the cap from 80 flights a week between the two countries to 100 – 50 for China and 50 for Britain.

In 2015, more than 270,000 Chinese visited the UK, up 46% year-on-year, with their spending up 18%, which moved China into Britain's top 10 inbound markets for the first time. HNA is understood to be seeking slots at London’s Heathrow for the new services.

Separately, British Airways is terminating its Heathrow-Chengdu B787 route next month because it was “not commercially viable”.

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