Tianjin Airlines forms new UK-New Zealand bridge

Tianjin Airlines' first flight takes off from Gatwick Airport
Tianjin Airlines’ first UK flight took off from Gatwick Airport in June 2016

London will soon get new connections to China and New Zealand, following the announcement that Tianjin Airlines will start flying to the UK capital from Xi’an next year.

Due to commence in May 2017, the new route will see Tianjin Airlines operate flights between Tianjin and London Gatwick Airport, via Xi’an – the ancient Chinese city and home of the famous Terracotta Warriors. This will complement the airline’s existing Tianjin-Gatwick via Chongqing route, which launched in June 2016.

Tianjin Airlines has also revealed details of its new service to Auckland, which will operate three times a week from Tianjin via Chongqing from December 2016. This, the airline says, means that “British travellers will be able to fly from London Gatwick to Auckland, via Chongqing”.

“We’re delighted to announce yet more new services for British travellers following the hugely successful launch of our first ever flights from Gatwick to Tianjin and Chongqing in China,” said Robert Chen, Tianjin Airlines’ general manager for the UK. “We’re proud to be helping introduce British travellers to our fascinating country through our high quality service and unbeatable flights. 2017 is going to be a very exciting year for us.”

The new services are being enabled by the delivery of more long-haul aircraft. Tianjin Airlines will introduce two brand new Airbus A330-200s to its fleet in November 2016, with further twin-aisle jets next year.

Tianjin Airlines forms part of the fast-expanding HNA Group, which also owns Hainan Airlines and multiple other Chinese carriers. The company has also been expanding in other areas of the travel industry, including the recent acquisition of a 25% stake in Hilton.

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