Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline in China, announced Friday morning the inauguration of its first direct flights to and from Israel.
The flights are due to begin on April 28, 2016 and will take place three times a week on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, the days El Al doesn't fly to Beijing.
Hainan's Airbus 330 planes allotted to fly to Israel are both spacious and modern with 37 seats in business class and another 178 in economy. Flight HU7958 will depart Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport at 13:25 pm and arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport at 05:00pm the following day. The flight time is 11 hours westbound and 9 hours 30 minutes eastbound.
The number of Chinese tourists in Israel has been increasing yearly by dozens of percentage points. Some 34,000 Chinese citizens visited Israel from January-August 2015, marking a 30% increase from 2014.
Hainan Airlines was founded in 1993 and has grown to be China's largest independent airline, with a fleet of over 150 aircraft, including wide body Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner jetliners. With the main base in Haikou, Hainan Airlines has set up seven operational airline bases in Beijing, Xi'an, Taiyuan, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Dalian and Shenzhen.
Hainan has a wide domestic network in China, serving more than 600 routes linking 90 cities, as well as points in Europe, North American and Southeast Asia. It is a service-oriented enterprise, earning numerous awards for safety, punctuality and a high quality product.