Hainan Airlines is to expand its Russian network, as it launches flights from Dalian in China’s northeast to Vladivostok from 19 October. 

The airline will operate weekly flights with Boeing 737-800s, it states. The launch marks the first direct Russian connection for Dalian, a major industrial hub, and is Hainan’s first international point from the city. 

Hainan Airlines 737

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hainan Airlines’ new flights to Vladivostok will be operated by Boeing 737-800s.

Hainan was the first Chinese carrier to publicly announce it would be resuming operations to Russia in July 2022, joining a small number of airlines operating to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. 

Hainan in its latest statement notes that Vladivostok is one of the “key economic centres” in Russia’s Far East. “In the future, the Dalian-Vladivostok route will further facilitate cultural exchanges and economic and trade exchanges between China and Russia,” the carrier adds. 

Hainan, for its part, is also expanding its operations in Dalian, which is the capital of Liaoning province, where strategic investor Liaoning Fangda is headquartered. 

The carrier currently has 20 domestic points from Dalian, including to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the south, as well as to Nanjing, Chongqing and Beijing. 

Separately, two low-cost operators,Jetstar Asia and Indonesia’s TransNusa, have announced new routes to Mainland China. 

Singapore-based Jetstar Asia will launch twice-weekly flights from 28 December, between the city-state to Wuxi in China’s southeastern Jiangsu province. It is the low-cost carrier’s second China route, after Haikou on Hainan island. 

Jetstar Asia says it will double frequencies from 15 January, with all flights operated by its Airbus A320s. 

Airline chief Barathan Pasupathi says: “China is an important market and following the successful launch of our services to Haikou earlier this year, we’re excited to add another Chinese city to our growing list of destinations and believe Wuxi has the right dynamics to be a successful route.” 

Jakarta-based low-cost carrier TransNusa, it is marking its foray into the Chinese market with thrice-weekly flights to Guangzhou, to be operated by its A320s from 16 November. 

The carrier, which is backed by Chinese investors, was the first foreign operator of Comac’s ARJ21 regional jet. In July this year, it operated the type on its first international flight between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. 

TransNusa will also launch flights from the Indonesian capital to Singapore. The daily flights will commence 20 November, the airline adds. 

Meanwhile, Taiwanese carrier Starlux will commence flights to Chiang Mai - the second Thai in its network - from 18 January 2024. The airline adds that the thrice-weekly flights will be operated with its A321neos.