Founded: Hainan Airlines has been in operation since January 1993. While the airline has perhaps not been as well known as the “big three” of China’s airlines (Air China, China Eastern and China Southern) throughout a large part of its existence, the airline is growing rapidly. Hainan Airlines has been around for just two years shorter than China Southern and less than five years shorter than Air China and China Eastern.
Home base: While Hainan Airlines makes its headquarters in Haikou on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, the carrier has two primary hubs: Haikou Meilan International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport.
Fleet size: Hainan Airlines has a passenger and cargo fleet size of approximately 180 aircraft, as of February 2017. The vast majority of these are Boeing 737-800s, of which the airline has 129 and configures in a two-class set up with eight business and 156 economy class seats. Hainan Airlines also has nine B787-9 Dreamliners, ten B787-8 Dreamliners, 14 Airbus A330-300s, nine A330-200s, and three B767-300s, B737-700HHs and B737-700s.
In June 2016, Hainan Airlines took delivery of the jewel of its fleet, a B787-9 with 30 “Super Diamond” business seats and 259 economy seats. The aircraft also features free on-board wifi and Panasonic’s eX3 IFE system, along with Bulgari amenity kits and Bose noise-cancelling headphones for business class passengers. Also of particular note is the fact that Hainan Airlines is among the declining number of carriers to offer a nine-across economy class seating configuration in its Boeing aircraft.
Route network: Hainan Airlines has an impressive route network that includes an array of destinations in both Europe and North America, including London, Paris, Zurich, Madrid, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington DC.
However, the Haikou-based carrier has also been rapidly expanding its international long-haul network over the past few months, most notably launching new flights between Shenzhen and Auckland, and direct flights between Beijing and Las Vegas in December 2016, and flights from Xian and Changsha to Melbourne as well as Changsha to Sydney in September 2015.
Alliance: Hainan Airlines is not currently part of an airline alliance.
Codeshares: Among the most notable Hainan Airlines codeshare partners are: Air Berlin, American Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines (a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines), Brussels Airlines, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Hong Kong Airlines, Korean Air, and Tianjin Airlines (also a subsidiary).
Future plans: In addition to the aircraft currently in its fleet, the carrier has a further 76 aircraft on order from Boeing – including 50 B737-8 max and 21 B787-9 Dreamliners – and seven A330s on order from Airbus.
In addition and in line with the carrier’s aggressive expansion plans, Hainan Airlines is also set to launch two new Los Angeles flights connecting destinations in western China with the West Coast of the US in March. Chengdu-Los Angeles is set to launch on March 15, 2017 and Chongqing-Los Angeles will take off soon after on March 21, both operated by a two-class B787-8 Dreamliner.