Hainan Airlines is continuing to provide new connections between Australia and its Haikou hub on China’s southerly Hainan Island with a new non-stop service to Melbourne scheduled to launch on December 16.
The new twice-weekly Haikou-Melbourne route follows the launch of non-stop flights between Haikou and Sydney back in January. Hainan Airlines subsequently added Taiyuan in Shanxi province as a “tag” destination to the route earlier this month.
Flights on the new Melbourne route will depart Haikou on Wednesday and Sunday, and return on Monday and Thursday. The outbound HU483 flight departs Haikou at 1840 and arrives in Melbourne at 0700 the following morning, while the return HU484 leg departs the Victoria state capital at 0900 before arriving back in Haikou at 1555.
Bookings are available for the flight, with return business class fares in December starting at RMB9,321 (US$1,342) including fees and taxes.
According to the carrier’s schedule, Hainan Airlines will fly its Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the route, though unfortunately for business class passengers it doesn’t look as though this will be one of its newer A330-300s outfitted with its latest Super Diamond seats.
That being said, the airline’s older A330-300s still feature fully flat business class seats laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, meaning all passengers in the cabin get direct aisle access. Unlike the Super Diamond seats, however, these older variants are aligned facing forward rather than in a reverse herringbone formation.
Seat pitch (legroom) is 64 inches on these forward-facing seats, which also come with a 15.4-inch touchscreen as well as in-seat charging ports. The business class cabin has 32 seats overall.
The economy class cabin, meanwhile, is laid out on a 2-4-2 configuration, and seats offer between 31 and 32 inches of pitch.
Hainan Airlines has launched a number of routes to Australia over the past few years, notably connecting Cairns with Shenzhen last December.