Hainan Airlines announces new direct Dublin-Beijing route

The first ever direct flights from Scotland to China will begin in June thanks to a service that will connect Beijing Dublin and Edinburgh

The first ever direct flights from Scotland to China will begin in June thanks to a service that will connect Beijing Dublin and Edinburgh

Hainan Airlines has announced it is to launch a new year-round service from Dublin to Beijing direct, commencing as of June 12th.

The route will initially involve four Hainan Airlines flights per week originating in Dublin, with two non-stop to Beijing and two stopping in Edinburgh for a short stopover to pick up additional passengers before continuing to Beijing.

This, in addition to 120,000 passengers expected to be carried annually by Cathay Pacific's Dublin-Hong Kong direct flights which are also due in the coming June, will contribute significantly to bilateral trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, he said.

The new route was announced at a reception in the Irish Embassy in Beijing today attended by Tánaiste Simon Coveney and representatives from Dublin Airport, Hainan Airlines, Beijing Airport and Tourism Ireland.

"Hainan's new Dublin-Beijing route links not just our two capital cities, but also our two counties".

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said the new service is great news for tourism and trade and the improved connectivity will create new jobs throughout Ireland.

A key message for Tourism Ireland in China is the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the United Kingdom on a single visa of either country.

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Establishing a direct flight has been seen as a major part of Irish efforts to boost trade with China.

The flights will be "a major game-changer" for Chinese visitors, Gibbons said.

Irish tourism and hospitality is also set to benefit from the new initiative as Tourism Ireland estimates that about 70,000 Chinese visitors came to the island of Ireland previous year, up from 60,000 visitors in 2016.

Tourism Ireland also estimates that about 70,000 Chinese visitors came to the island of Ireland previous year, up from 60,000 visitors in 2016. "They have massive potential to expand both tourism and business between Ireland and China", Mr Coveney told The Irish Times. HNA's tourism business is a fast-growing, vertically-integrated global player with market-leading positions in aviation, hotels and travel services. "I can directly fly back home", she said.

Two-way trade between Ireland and China is now estimated to be worth more than €14.9 billion a year.

The opening of direct Dublin-Beijing route is not only good news for Wang and the 5,000-plus other Chinese students who are now studying in Ireland, but also for people involved in bilateral trade and business.

Currently, there are almost 400 Irish companies in China while over 20 Chinese companies in Ireland, said Xue, adding that there is a big potential to be tapped for bilateral trade as the two economies are quite complementary to each other. The direct Dublin-Beijing service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays and will depart Dublin Airport at 11:10, arriving in Beijing at 05:00 the following day.

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