Hainan Airlines appears to have its sights set on New York as its new destination of choice, with the mainland Chinese carrier now looking to launch another route to the Big Apple, this time from Chengdu.
The new service is set to take off on October 26 this year, according to the airline’s schedule, about a week after its recently announced new twice-weekly service from Chongqing to New York.
Unlike the Chongqing service, however, the twice-weekly Chengdu service looks set to be operated by a B787-9 Dreamliner, compared to the B787-8 that’s expected to initially fly the Chongqing route. That said, Hainan Airlines’ schedule does list a change of equipment to the B787-9 on its Chongqing service from at least November 6 this year.
It seems reasonably likely these routes will be among those featuring the carrier’s new Dreamliner layout, which includes lie-flat business class seats in a herringbone 1-2-1 layout, compared to the 2-2-2 layout of the previous configuration. These new layouts were launched in May this year, and are already set to fly on the airline’s Shanghai flights to Tel Aviv and Brussels in September and October, respectively.
Details of the new Chengdu-New York service are as follows (all times local):
Long-haul flights to the US have been a prime target for Hainan Airlines recently, with the airline launching two new Los Angeles services back in March, also flying from Chengdu and Chongqing. Last December also saw the launch of the carrier’s new Beijing-Las Vegas flights.
In related news, Chinese flag carrier Air China announced earlier this week that it would be deploying its own B787-9 Dreamliner on its Beijing-New York Newark route starting this December, along with adjusting the schedule of its Beijing-New York JFK route, which is flown by a B777-300ER.