It appears likely that China’s Hainan Airlines will no longer link Beijing with Dublin and Edinburgh from September.
According to Airlineroute, reservations are no longer possible on and after September 1.
If true, the news will come as a blow to both Scotland and Ireland as it provided their capitals’ only direct link with Beijing with the business opportunities that would provide.
This Hainan Airlines flight, which linked all three capitals, has not been given time to prove itself. It was launched less than one year ago.
Back in June 2018, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport Gordon Dewar described the arrival of Hainan Airlines as a “momentous day.”
“We connect not only Edinburgh and Beijing for the first time but Scotland and China too,” he said.
However it is understood that load factors were below expectations.
Originally Hainan Airlines launched the service with four flights a week.
But last October Business Traveller reported that flight frequency was already being reduced.
Flights of this length and complexity are expensive to operate (they must overfly Russia, so royalty payments are involved) and if the yield was insufficient then it will not come as a surprise the route is dropped.
Choosing September 1 makes sense because it will be after the conclusion of Edinburgh’s famous Festival when visitor numbers traditionally decrease.
Business Traveller will bring you further information when available.