Hainan Airlines Restores its Beijing-Seattle Service

A Hainan Airlines A330 approaches to land
byeangel from Tsingtao, China, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

After a hiatus of nearly four years, Hainan Airlines has announced that it will resume service from Seattle to Beijing from Tuesday, April 2. The restored service will then operate every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday year-round.

This route is supposed to be the shortest flight between the continental United States and Mainland China.

The flight HU496 will depart from Seattle at 11:00 local time, arriving in Beijing at 15:10 local time next day. HU495 will depart from Beijing at 13:10 local time, arriving in Seattle at 09:00 local time.

Service Restoration and Future Expansion

Hainan Airlines is optimistic about adding frequencies in the future subject to the bilateral agreement on capacity increasing between two governments.

Before the COVID-19, Hainan Airlines flights fostered rich cultural exchange, transported approximately 200,000 visitors annually to Seattle.

The airline is a SKYTRAX 5-Star Airline with an outstanding record of safety and operational excellence. Hainan Airlines is now moving to resume the Boston service, offering a new link between China and West Coast America.

Poster for Seattle to Beijing International Route

Last year saw the Chinese carrier restore its long haul service to Boston for the first time since the pandemic.

On November 26, Hainan Airlines’ non-stop flight HU729 from Beijing to Boston departed from Beijing Capital International Airport. The service landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport at 2:09 pm local time.

The event marked the successful resumption of Hainan Airlines’ first China-US route since the COVID-19 outbreak.  Boston represented the airline’s seventh intercontinental route originating from Beijing.

Passengers of Hainan Airlines Beijing-Boston flight have checked in.

Bilateral Agreement US-China

The November restoration of Boston services came after Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco. President Xi emphasized the need for both nations to enhance humanistic exchanges.

He advocated for more direct flights between China and the US, boosted cooperation in tourism, expanded local interactions, strengthened educational ties, and increased visits and communication between their peoples.

In response, Hainan Airlines began preparing to restore its China-US flight frequency to pre-pandemic levels as swiftly as possible.

This effort aims to provide convenient, high-quality, and safe air transportation services, facilitating cooperation across various sectors between China and the United States.

About Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines is a major airline based in Haikou, Hainan, China. It is the fourth-largest airline in terms of fleet size in the People’s Republic of China. Hainan Airlines ranks as the tenth-largest carrier in Asia when it comes to passengers carried.

Hainan Airlines is one of ten airlines worldwide rated as five-star by Skytrax. Others include All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.

In June 2019 they were ranked #7 in the Skytrax World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2019 ratings. The carrier also won in the following additional categories:

Best Airline in China: World’s Best Business Class Amenities, Best Airline Staff in China, Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in China, and Best Cabin Crew in China.

The airline operates scheduled domestic and international services on 500 routes. These operate from Hainan and nine locations on the mainland, as well as charter services.

Its main base is located at Haikou Meilan International Airport, with hubs at Beijing Capital International Airport and Xi’an Xianyang International Airport and several focus cities.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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