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Hainan Airlines to launch its first flight connecting London with China
Hainan Airlines is set to launch its first direct flight route between China and London, with a new non-stop service linking the UK capital and Changsha in Hunan province.
The Chinese carrier said, starting on March 23, three of its Boeing 787 passenger jets will depart each week from Changsha Huanghua International Airport and arrive at London's Heathrow Airport before making the return journey.
Flights will depart from Changsha in the morning, just before noon, and arrive in London mid-afternoon on the same day. The return flights leave Heathrow late at night and arrive in Changsha the next day, in the middle of the afternoon.
The new route is Hainan Airline's second direct link between the UK and China. The carrier started flying a non-stop route between Beijing and Manchester, in Northern England, in June last year.
Since then, exports from Northern England to China have almost tripled, to 200 million pounds ($270 million) a month, and the amount spent by Chinese tourists in Manchester has doubled to 138 million pounds a year, according to a report by the Manchester China Forum and Manchester Airport.
International carriers operate around 60 flights a week between the UK and China.
In December, the UK and China agreed to raise the limit on the number of direct weekly flights between the two nations to 150, from 100.
Hainan Airlines said the new route will provide a link between the British capital and one of China's most "famous historical cities".
"Changsha is the political, economic, cultural, and technological hub of Hunan province," the airline said in a statement.
  Source: Ecns

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