On June 10, 2016, a Hainan Airlines’ Airbus A330 took off from Beijing Capital International Airport and landed at the Manchester Airport after a more than 10-hour flight. China-based Hainan Airlines formally opened a direct air route between Beijing and Manchester.
To welcome its first passengers on the flight to Manchester, Hainan Airlines had the words “Hai! Manchester” painted on the side of the aircraft (above) in celebration of the maiden journey. In addition, Hainan Airlines flight attendants prepared limited-edition postcards and British-themed gift sets for each passenger. The exciting range of maiden voyage activities highlight Hainan Airlines as an international, exclusive air service brand.
Hainan Airlines’ air route between Beijing and Manchester enables the first direct air service between the two big cities. The addition of the route at this time is also in response to and in support of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the program rolled out by Chinese President Xi Jinping, to rebuild a modern equivalent of the ancient silk route that joined China to Europe in ancient times, as well as the Northern Powerhouse program, the UK government’s program to boost economic growth in the north of England. The direct route creates not only an air traffic bridge between the two cities but also a new Silk Road in the air.
In 2016, Hainan Airlines opened several international routes, including Changsha-Los Angeles, Beijing-Tel Aviv and Beijing-Manchester. The new Beijing-Calgary route is scheduled to be launched later this month.
Photo: Hainan Airlines.