Hainan Airlines has given both Edinburgh and Dublin their first non-stop connections with mainland China with the launch on Tuesday of its new four-times-weekly service between Beijing and the Scottish and Irish capitals.
As previously reported by Business Traveller, the service takes a rather curious three-way routing that alternates between flying non-stop to and from either Edinburgh or Dublin depending on the day of the flight.
Of the four weekly flights, those on Tuesdays and Saturdays will operate Beijing-Edinburgh-Dublin-Beijing while flights on Thursdays and Sundays will go Beijing-Dublin-Edinburgh-Beijing.
Despite these different routings, the schedules for all four days are the same. Flights take about 12 hours flying the long-haul leg to and from Beijing, and just over an hour between Edinburgh and Dublin.
|HU749||Beijing (PEK)||Edinburgh (EDI)||0130||0600||Tue, Sat|
|Edinburgh (EDI)||Dublin (DUB)||0800||0910|
|HU750||Dublin (DUB)||Beijing (PEK)||1110||0500+1|
|HU751||Beijing (PEK)||Dublin (DUB)||0130||0600||Thu, Sun|
|Dublin (DUB)||Edinburgh (EDI)||0800||0910|
|HU752||Edinburgh (EDI)||Beijing (PEK)||1110||0500+1|
Hainan Airlines’ Airbus A330-300 aircraft is serving the route.
Hainan Airlines did begin taking delivery of 11 A330-300s with a new 1-2-1 herringbone business class seat (pictured below) back in December.
Unfortunately, it looks as though it is one of Hainan Airlines’ older A330-300s that is flying the new route. These offer an older seat product in business class (pictured below) that is laid out in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration (though Hainan Airlines describes it as 2-2-2) with aisle seats alternating between A/C and H/K.