Following the announcement last year of its intention to launch a new non-stop service connecting Beijing and Oslo sometime in 2019, Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines has now unveiled exactly when the flights will take off.
The first non-stop service connecting the Chinese and Norwegian capitals will officially launch on May 15, flown by its Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Flights will operate three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. All three weekly flights will depart Beijing at the same time at 0130 and arrive in Oslo at 0530 the same morning.
For the return legs, however, flights will depart Oslo at 1430 on Mondays and Fridays and at 1355 on Wednesdays, though all will arrive back in Beijing at 0530 the following morning.
Tickets are now on sale and at the time of writing return business class fares were available from RMB 18,598 (US$2,774).
Unfortunately for those travelling in the business class cabin, Hainan Airlines won’t be flying its newer A330-300s on the Oslo route, which feature the carrier’s latest fully flat “Super Diamond” seats (pictured below) laid out in a 1-2-1 reverse-herringbone configuration.
The Super Diamond is an off-the-rack product developed by Collins Aerospace that’s also used by China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Qatar Airways. British Airways’ recently unveiled new Club Suites are also bespoke variations of the Super Diamond.
Instead, Hainan Airlines will be flying its older A330-300 on the route, which does also offer fully flat seating in a 1-2-1 configuration, just with older seats (pictured below). These seats are also smaller than the Super Diamonds, offering a pitch of 64 inches (163cm) versus almost 78 inches (two metres) on the newer seats.
Economy class on both configurations of the A330-300 is laid out 2-4-2.
Oslo is the ninth destination in Europe to be served by Hainan Airlines out of Beijing, joining Berlin, Brussels, Prague, Manchester, Moscow, St Petersburg, Edinburgh and Dublin.