Beijing bound: first direct air route from Dublin to China takes off

China’s fourth-largest carrier begins new service between Dublin and Beijing

China is the world’s largest outbound travel market, and one of the fastest-growing, with trips from China predicted to grow to 200 million a year by 2020

China is the world’s largest outbound travel market, and one of the fastest-growing, with trips from China predicted to grow to 200 million a year by 2020

 

The first direct flights from Dublin to Beijing have been launched by Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth-largest carrier.

The year-round service is Dublin Airport’s first direct route to mainland China and is being viewed as a milestone for the Irish economy.

The Chinese airline will operate Dublin to Beijing direct with an Airbus A330 aircraft on Tuesdays and Saturdays and via Edinburgh on Thursdays and Sundays.

The first flight of the new service came from Edinburgh and the departing flight was a direct service from Dublin to Beijing.

Last year, 120,000 passengers travelled between Ireland and mainland China with about a quarter of those travelling between Dublin and Beijing.

Before Tuesday’s inaugural flight, the Republic was the largest travel market in Europe for Chinese traffic that did not have a non-stop flight, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said.

It also noted that China is the world’s largest outbound travel market, and one of the fastest-growing, with trips from China predicted to grow to 200 million a year by 2020.

Irish firms

Welcoming the new service, Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison said: “Trade between Ireland and China is hugely important for our economy and it is currently estimated to be worth more than €14.9 billion per year.

“ The new direct route will greatly facilitate Irish firms and exporters with operations and clients in China, as well as China’s financial services and technology companies investing in Ireland.”

Mr Harrison noted Ireland was also home to more than 5,000 Chinese students attending Irish educational institutions and the new route would make travelling between the capital cities of Ireland and China much easier.

The direct Beijing-Dublin flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays with flights departing Beijing at 1.30am, arriving in Dublin at 6am.

The direct Dublin-Beijing service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays and will depart Dublin Airport at 11.10am, arriving in Beijing at 5am the following day.

The Beijing-Edinburgh-Dublin service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays with flights departing Beijing at 1.30am, arriving in Dublin at 9.10am via Edinburgh. The Dublin-Edinburgh-Beijing service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, departing at 8am and arriving in Beijing via Edinburgh at 5am the following day.