Tianjin Airlines has celebrated the launch of its first flight to the UK, which arrived at London’s Gatwick Airport on Saturday.
The new route marks the next step in the carrier’s long-haul expansion plan, following the start of services to Moscow earlier this month. The London route will now operate twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) from Tianjin, with a stop in Chongqing in both directions.
The outbound flights take off from the Chinese port city at 0905 and arrive at London’s Gatwick Airport at 2025. The return flights then leave the UK capital at 2225 on the same days of the week, arriving back in Tianjin at 2215 the next day.
“We’re proud to be helping British passengers to explore the relatively unknown destinations of Tianjin and Chongqing in China,” said Mr Robert Chen, Tianjin Airlines’ general manager for the UK. “As well as falling in love with our beautiful country – which we’re sure they will – we hope British travellers enjoy Tianjin Airlines’ high quality service and unbeatable price. We look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.”
Previously a short-haul carrier, Tianjin Airlines operates a fleet of approximately 90 single-aisle Airbus A320, Embraer E190 and E145 jets. For its long-haul expansion, the carrier has started taking delivery of a new fleet of twin-aisle Airbus A330 aircraft.
The airline now plans to expand its long-haul network to cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Melbourne in the coming years.
Tianjin Airlines will become the fourth Chinese carrier flying to London, following Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. And another HNA Group carrier, Hainan Airlines, also recently launched flights to the UK this summer, with its new Beijing-Manchester route having commenced on 10 June.