Hainan Airlines is adding its third service to Brussels on March 20, 2018, this time connecting the Belgian capital with the southern Chinese city, Shenzhen.
The route joins Hainan Airlines’ existing flights to the city, including from Beijing that it launched in 2006 as well as Shanghai, which it launched in October. At just two flights a week on Tuesday and Thursday, however, the Shenzhen service will be the least frequent of the three.
Full details of the schedule are as follows (all times local):
Hainan Airlines is flying its Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, though it looks as though this will be with its older business class cabins, which feature forward-facing seats in a 2-2-2 configuration as opposed to the newer cabins, which have seats laid out 1-2-1 in a herringbone pattern. These seats are nonetheless fully flat, as with the newer seats, and business class passengers will also receive Bose noise-cancelling headphones and Bulgari-branded amenity kits.
As major airports in Beijing and Shanghai contend with capacity issues and slot shortages, Hainan Airlines has increasingly focused on its alternative hubs, notably Shenzhen, Chengdu and Chongqing. Last month the airline launched flights from Shenzhen to Cairns, and in May this year it expects to connect Shenzhen with Vienna.
The new Brussels route will also compete with Cathay Pacific’s upcoming non-stop service to the city, whose flights from Hong Kong just across the border are set to take off less than a week after the Hainan Airlines service on March 25.
Cathay Pacific will fly to the city four times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday using its newest aircraft, the Airbus A350, which has a business class cabin split into two sections of 30 and eight seats, each in a 1-2-1 layout.
Business Traveller reviewed Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class product between London Gatwick and Hong Kong in September, 2016.[embed]https://www.businesstraveller.com/tried-and-tested/cathay-pacific-a350-900-business-class-2/[/embed]