After the announcement that Guangzhou-based airline China Southern would begin flying non-stop between Wuhan and London starting the end of this month, China’s largest carrier now appears set to launch another service to the UK capital less than two months later, connecting London with Sanya on the popular resort island, Hainan.
Scheduled to fly twice a week starting July 12, 2018, the new route will actually originate in the carrier’s home hub of Guangzhou, stopping over in Sanya before flying non-stop the rest of the way to London Heathrow.
Particularly noteworthy is that China Southern will be flying the variant of its Airbus A330-200 that comes outfitted with a first-class cabin. This comprises four seats laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, each with an 84-inch pitch and the ability to recline to a fully flat bed. Width is about 20.5 inches when sitting upright, but increases to about 28 inches when reclined.
The business class cabin on these A330-200s, meanwhile, is laid out 2-2-2 with 24 seats in total, meaning window-seat passengers don’t get direct aisle access. These seats do also recline to a fully flat bed position, though pitch is just 75 inches and width 20 inches.
The A330-200 also has an extra-legroom economy class section with 48 seats that offer between 37 and 38 inches of pitch, compared to the regular economy’s 32 to 33 inches. Width on both of these seats is a snug 17 inches and recline goes up to 100 degrees.
China Southern also plans to fly its A330-200 on its Wuhan-London Heathrow flights, which take off on May 30.
China Southern will fly the Guangzhou-Sanya-London Heathrow route with the following schedule.
|CZ651||Guangzhou (CAN)||Sanya (SYX)||0910||1045||Thu, Sun|
|Sanya (SYX)||London (LHR)||1315||1845|
|CZ652||London (LHR)||Sanya (SYX)||2210||1600+1||Thu, Sun|
|Sanya (SYX)||Guangzhou (CAN)||1855+1||2020+1|
Travellers going between Guangzhou and London Heathrow can also make use of China Southern’s existing two daily non-stop services, CZ603/604 and CZ303/304.
Multiple Chinese carriers have been launching and announcing new routes to London over the past few months, ever since China and the UK signed an agreement to increase the number of weekly flights permitted between the two countries from 100 to 150.
China’s national carrier, Air China, appears set to launch a non-stop service between Chengdu and London Gatwick on July 3.
Meanwhile, Beijing Capital Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Tianjin Airlines have already launched connections between London and Qingdao, Changsha and Xian this year.