First direct air route between Dublin and China on cards with Hainan Airlines move
The first ever direct air route between Dublin and China is on the cards, with Hainan Airlines closely examining the potential for a service.
Hainan Airlines is part of the huge Chinese conglomerate HNA, a Fortune 500 company whose activities stretch from aviation to hotels and shipping to technology.
In Dublin today, HNA chief operating officer William Zhang confirmed that a service from Dublin to China is under serious consideration. Hainan Airlines has just launched a route between Manchester and Beijing. Mr Zhang said that Dublin is now being analysed to see if sufficient demand exists for a route from the Irish capital to China.
Government agencies such as the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland have been pushing for a direct route to China for a number of years.
Senior HNA executives have been in Dublin for the past few days, and held a meeting at the Chinese embassy to discuss the route potential.
HNA acquired Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon last year. Avolon chief executive and co-founder Domhnal Slattery said today that he'd be hopeful the route to China will be launched.
It would be a major coup for the DAA, which controls Dublin and Cork airports.