Hainan Airways has shifted its Gulf hub from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to aid its co-operation with Etihad Airlines, with which it signed a codeshare in December 2011.
As a result, the airline now operates its twice-weekly flight between Beijing and the Angolan capital of Luanda via Abu Dhabi rather than Dubai. Flight HU7923 now leaves Beijing at 1900 on Mondays and Fridays to arrive in Abu Dhabi at 0140 the next morning, departing at 0340 to land in Luanda at 0940. The return leg takes off from the Angolan capital at 1140 on Tuesdays and Saturdays to touch down in the Gulf at 2300, leaving at 0100 the next morning to arrive in Beijing at 1400.
These flights are timed to allow smooth connections with Etihad-operated services to and from Abu Dhabi. On the outbound leg, passengers can continue on to Berlin and London Heathrow for example. Inbound passengers, meanwhile, can arrive on Etihad flights from Casablanca, Cairo and the Maldives and connect with the Hainan service to Beijing.
Hainan Airlines and Etihad signed a wide-ranging codeshare agreement including reciprocal loyalty programmes in late 2011 – the first Mainland Chinese partnership for the Gulf Airline.
Earlier this month, the Indonesian airline Garuda also shifted its hub from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to allow for increased cooperation with Etihad (see here). Etihad has been increasing its number of code share agreements rapidly as part of an attempt to expand its overall network.
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