Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines will be connecting China’s southern island of Hainan with Sydney next year, with non-stop flights from the island’s capital Haikou set to take off on January 30, 2018.

The route is the latest in Hainan Airlines’ international expansion that has seen the carrier focus intently on opening up new routes between China and Australasia in particular over the past year. The new Haikou-Sydney service is the airline’s seventh to Australia, joining other routes such as Shenzhen-Brisbane, Shenzhen-Cairns, Xi’an-Sydney, Changsha-Sydney, Xi’an-Melbourne and Changsha-Melbourne.

Frequency on the new route will be quite light, with flights operating just twice per week on Tuesday and Sunday on the overnight Haikou-Sydney leg, and on Monday and Wednesday on the daytime Sydney-Haikou flight. The full schedule for the service is as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
HU447 Haikou (HAK) Sydney (SYD) 1850 0715+1 Tue, Sun
HU448 Sydney (SYD) Haikou (HAK) 0915 1555 Mon, Wed

As is the case with the majority of the airline’s Australia services, Hainan Airlines will be flying its Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft on the route. These are equipped with 36 fully flat beds in business class laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration – meaning window seats won’t have direct aisle access – and 186 seats in economy class in a 2-4-2 layout. Business class passengers also get Bose noise-cancelling headphones and an amenity kit on the route, along with offering pick-up and drop-off car services.

Despite being Hainan Island’s capital city, Haikou on the north coast tends to be less well known than the island’s southern tourism hotspot, Sanya. A recent slew of developments in Haikou, the focal point for business in Hainan, are seeing the capital city experience a resurgence.

Business Traveller took a look at Haikou, Hainan’s dark horse, in our June 2017 issue.