HNA Group have applied for five new airline routes from Britain to China, as part of a strategic partnership with VisitBritain.
The new routes will take passengers direct to Changsha, Chengdu, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Xi’an from British airports. HNA Group subsidiaries Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and Capital Airlines will service the routes, and are aiming to have them up and running within the year.
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2016, Hainan Airlines are the only Chinese airline to have a strategic partnership with British tourism authority VisitBritain. The enterprise involves using joint marketing campaigns and shared customer insights in a bid to persuade Chinese travellers that want to visit Britain to make a booking.
Feng Chen, chairman of the board of HNA Group, said: “Multiple airlines under Hainan Airlines Group are launching several routes between China and Britain, offering airline and travel products with better quality and lower prices, and bridging between the two countries as well. Hainan Airlines Group shall work with VisitBritain to boost more Chinese visitors to Britain.”
Patricia Yates, director of VisitBritain, also spoke about the benefits of the partnership. She added: “By amplifying our marketing reach in China, we’re converting the inspiration to visit into bookings, driving our ambitious plans for growth.”
The new flight paths are intended to bring more visitors to the UK from China, a move welcomed by VisitBritain as they attempt to double spending by Chinese travellers to £1 billion by 2020.
With Chinese tourists staying on average twice as long as any other visitors to Britain, the planned new routes follow prime minister Theresa May’s Tourism Action Plan to keep the UK as a top tourism destination.