There has been a lot of speculation about a direct route between Ireland and China over the years. It is reported today on Twitter that Hainan Airlines have applied to fly to Dublin and Edinburgh from June 2018. The route will operate twice weekly from Beijing to Edinburgh then Dublin and twice weekly to Dublin then Edinburgh.
If approved, this will be the first direct flight between Ireland and China. No doubt the newspapers will be reporting the benefits to trade and all the rest of it. Who are Hainan Airlines though?
Hainan Is A 5 Star Airline
According to the ratings agency Skytrax, Hainan Airlines is one of just ten airlines in the world with a 5 star rating. This means the airline considered as good as well known companies such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways.
Skytrax say Hainan is noted for the quality of its onboard product and staff service, along with the home base airport service. Clearly the airline will be a worthy addition to the ranks serving Dublin.
What Aircraft Do They Operate?
Internationally, Hainan operate the Airbus A330 which is similar to Irish carrier Aer Lingus and many others. They also have a decent fleet of modern Boeing 787 Dreamliners in service.
Business Class is in a 2-2-2 configuration, with seats that are quite similar to what LATAM provide on their 787s. Service up front is reported to be superlative, featuring BVLGARI products in the amenity kit to provides an additional high end touch.
Alliances and Lounges
It is bad news for the international miles and points collector. Hainan is not a member of any of the three major global alliances reducing chances to earn. You could join the airlines Fortune Wings Club if you are planning to be a regular on the route to China.
Lounges are offered in several cities in China as you would expect. My guess is the airline will contract with Dublin Airport for the use of their tawdry common use Executive Lounge, which most airlines use there.
Connecting Ireland to China has long been a goal of various business groups so it will be excellent if this comes to fruition. It will improve trade links and be beneficial economically.
The fact Hainan is a highly regarded airline is a bonus all round. I am sure businesses at both ends are waiting for approval and keeping their fingers crossed.
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by BriYYZ from Toronto via Wikimedia Commons and Business class image via Hainan Airlines.