Hainan Airlines Holding Co Ltd, China's fourth-largest carrier and the largest private airline, is launching more flights to international destinations from second-tier cities as part of the efforts to expand its network.
The Haikou-based carrier has the largest number of direct flights that connect China and the United States, and the second-largest number of direct flights that connect China and Europe. Its revenue from international flights accounted for one-fifth of the overall revenue, according to its earnings report last year.
So far this year, Hainan Airlines has launched 10 international flights, including flights that connect Haikou and Osaka, and Guiyang and Paris. In July, the airline plans to launch flights that link Xi'an and Osaka. In September, it will start flights that connect Chengdu and Chicago.
"We have launched multiple direct flights that connect Changsha, Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Haikou with international hubs. We will keep seeking potential market growth room in the US and Europe, and pay attention to the growth opportunities emerging in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries," it said.
"By 2022, Hainan Airlines will launch more than 40 new international flights that depart from Hainan province," said Chen Feng, chairman of HNA Group, the parent of Hainan Airlines.
By then, Hainan Airlines aims to help the region operate more than 100 international flights and become an international air traffic hub, and attract more than 2 million inbound tourists annually.
Besides Haikou, it will grab the opportunities emerging from Sanya, and launch more international flights that connect Sanya and cities in Southeast Asian countries, which will also contribute to the building of the Hainan free trade zone.
In addition, Hainan Airlines said it will grab the opportunities emerging from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, an initiative announced by the Chinese government in 2017 and aims to transform the region.
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