Shenzhen Airlines has been slowly expanding throughout China as the air travel boom there continues. The airline is a major domestic and regional carrier, sporting a fleet of 180+ aircraft. The airline has mainly narrowbody aircraft, but it has a handful of A330s that is has been using for flights within China. After gaining approval from the UK and Chinese governments, Shenzhen Airlines plans to fly to London.
Shenzhen Airlines London Launch
@Airlineroute has reported that the airline plans to launch flights to London Heathrow Airport from Shenzhen on October 30, 2018. The airline will use their A330s for this flight, and it will operate three times a week. The schedule will be as follows:
ZH9067 SZX1410 – 1940LHR 330 247
ZH9068 LHR2140 – 1740+1SZX 330 247
The airline still has 3 A330s on order, so I expect to see more European destinations to be added to their network in the upcoming months/years. If this route is successful, I can see it becoming a daily rotation.
What to Expect
The airline has a total of 6 A330s on order/delivered. By the end of 2018, all of them will be delivered to the airline. The aircraft are configured in a three cabin layout, with 18 business class seats in a 2x2x2 configuration, 24 premium economy seats (no layout information available) and 267 seats in economy.
Since there aren’t any reports on the airline’s A330s because they are so new, I am going to go with the assumption that the seats are angle flat, similar to the ones seen on other Chinese A330s.
The boom in Chinese aviation is fueling new route launches and even more aircraft purchases. The political climate between the US and China will make new flights to the US more unlikely, as well as orders for Boeing aircraft from the fastest growing aviation market in the world. The development of geopolitical relationships between the two largest economies in the world will be interesting to follow, as it could lead to new proxy partnerships (such as Delta and China Eastern & American and China Southern) and more routes being launched by Chinese carriers to the whole world.