Hainan Airlines has announced plans to open its third route to Tel Aviv later this year, connecting the Israeli city with Guangzhou for the first time.
Set to take off on August 2, 2018 the route continues Hainan Airlines’ apparent annual tradition of launching a new service to Tel Aviv. Guangzhou is now the carrier’s third hub to connect with the city joining Beijing, which it launched in April 2016, and Shanghai, which began in September last year.
As with the Shanghai service, this new route will fly three times per week using the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with the following schedule.
|HU465||Guangzhou (CAN)||Tel Aviv (TLV)||0135||0850||Tue, Thu, Sat|
|HU466||Tel Aviv (TLV)||Guangzhou (CAN)||1245||0440+1||Tue, Thu, Sat|
The B787-9 notably features Hainan Airlines’ new Cirrus 3 Herringbone business class seat products, which it began rolling out in May last year.
Unlike the aircraft’s previous 2-2-2 setup, these new seats are laid out 1-2-1 in a herringbone formation, meaning all passengers get direct aisle access. The business class cabin has 30 fully flat seats in total, offering a 42-inch pitch (legroom).
Also of note with the B787-9 is the inclusion of Hainan Plus, the airline’s extra-legroom economy seats, located in the first four rows of the economy cabin. These 36 seats offer a total pitch of 36 inches, compared with the 32 inches offered in regular economy. Both are laid out 3-3-3.
Hainan Airlines is not the only airline recently to begin flying between southern China and Tel Aviv, however.
In March last year, Cathay Pacific launched a non-stop service to the Israeli city using its Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Last month, frequency on the route rose to six flights per week, with this set to increase further in October and November to once per day.
The growing competition posed by Chinese airlines is already taking its toll on Hong Kong’s flag carrier, which earlier this year announced its first back-to-back annual loss in its history of operating. The launch of Hainan Airlines’ new route from Guangzhou, just across the border from Hong Kong, is likely to place further pressure on the embattled carrier.
Hainan Airlines, meanwhile, is one of China’s most rapidly expanding carriers, paying particular attention on international long-haul routes.