China Southern has announced it will launch a thrice-weekly direct service from Guangzhou to Rome starting from July 13.

The route will be operated by a 228-seat Dreamliner, consisting of four first class seats in a 1-2-1 setup, 24 business seats arranged in 2-2-2 and 200 economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

CZ661 will depart Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Monday, Friday and Sunday at 0040, arriving at Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport at 0720. The return flight CZ662 will leave Europe at 1130 before touching down in China at 0520 the following day.

Currently, China Southern passengers flying to Rome need to stopover in Wuhan for about two hours before taking off again to Europe. The launch of the nonstop service will shorten the flying time to 12 hours 40 minutes.

The airline is also launching a second nonstop route from Wuhan to London starting from May 30, flying three times a week.