Hainan Airlines will return to Sydney from September when it resumes services from Xi’an and commences new Changsha-Sydney flights.
Twice-weekly flights from Changsha, in China’s south-central province of Hunan, will begin on September 15, while twice-weekly flights from Xi’an will resume on September 17, Sydney Airport announced last week. The flights will be operated by 250-seat Airbus A330-200s.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming two year-round Hainan Airlines services in September following the success of the Xi’an route during the busy Lunar New Year period,” Sydney Airport managing director and CEO Kerrie Mather said in a statement on July 13.
“Hainan Airlines’ new Changsha service will provide a direct connection between the capital of China’s Hunan province, home to over 65 million people, and Sydney.”
Hainan Airlines operated a seasonal twice-weekly service from Xi’an to Sydney from December 2015 to March 2016, and before that operated Hangzhou-Shenzhen-Sydney flights in 2011.
The news follows the May announcement that Hainan Airlines’ parent company HNA is to take an initial 13 per cent equity stake in Virgin Australia as part of a new commercial alliance. That alliance is due to see the two airline groups codesharing on each others flights as well as cooperating on frequent flyer programs, lounge access and the promotion of tourism and business travel.
The alliance will also see Virgin Australia operate flights to Beijing and Hong Kong.
Hainan’s new Sydney schedule
Monday and Friday: Departs Changsha at 1825, arrives in Sydney at 0635
Tuesday and Saturday: Departs Sydney at 0820, arrives in Changsha at 1630
Wednesday and Saturday: Departs Xi’an at 1705, arrives in Sydney at 0635
Thursday and Sunday: Departs Sydney at 0820, arrives in Xi’an at 1755