Watch out ANZ, Singapore Airlines and Cathay — Hainan Airlines is coming for you

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Hainan Airlines has launched a non-stop service between Shenzhen, China and Cairns, Australia. The maiden flight of Hainan Airlines HU745, took off from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport at 10:50 pm on December 19, 2017 Beijing time and landed at Cairns Airport at 8:30 am on December 20, 2017 local time.

The news is more evidence of just how ambitious the Chinese giant is. And, following the roll-out of the ShenzhenBrisbane service in September earlier this year, HNA’s sixth direct service to Australia, it is time for other carriers to the region — Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific, I’m looking at you — to adjust their strategies and push back, lest they lose substantial ground on their own turf.

With the launch of the new service, Hainan Airlines will have established a route network in Australia spanning three eastern states and four major cities, with 12 round-trip flights weekly. The route, with two round-trip flights weekly, will be serviced by an Airbus A330 deluxe wide-body aircraft with spacious cabins. Business Class passengers will be provided with 180-degree lie-flat seating with an in-seat massage feature, Bose headsets and top quality BVLGARI toiletry bags. Passengers in all classes will have access to an exclusive on-demand entertainment system and a gourmet selection of Western and Oriental meals.

Hainan Airlines’ Shenzhen-Cairns Flight Schedule (all times are local):

Flight No. Aircraft Schedule Departure City Arrival City Departure Time Arrival Time
HU745 A330 Tuesday,

Saturday

Shenzhen Cairns 22:50 08:30 +1
HU746 A330  

Wednesday,
Sunday

Cairns Shenzhen 10:30 15:25

 

Since its inception in 1993, Hainan Airlines has rolled out more than 1,400 domestic and international routes from and to over 110 cities across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. The airline also has one of the world’s best safety records in that it has not had a major accident in its 24 years of operation with over 6 million hours of safe flights and was ranked third in airline safety in 2016 by JACDEC, a German airline safety data evaluation firm, the best achieved by a mainland Chinese carrier. With the roll-out of the new route, the Chinese airline has further expanded its international route network, providing passengers travelling between China and Australia with a comfortable and safe flying experience.

With both Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific  being fellow 5-star airlines the battle for dominance in Australia should prove to be an interesting one to watch develop in 2018, but I have an inkling that HNA is going to smash it.

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