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China's Tianjin Airlines announces new route, extends China-Britain service

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-09 13:47

China's Tianjin Airlines announces new route, extends China-Britain service

Stewardesses of Tianjin Airlines walk down the stairs of an A330 aircraft at Tianjin Binhai International Airport in Tianjin, May 5, 2016. [Photo / VCG]

LONDON - China's Tianjin Airlines on Tuesday announced launching a new flight route from London to Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province in May 2017.

The new flight service will be operated on an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 18 business class and 242 economy class seats. The total flight time to Xi'an is around 10 hours and the aircraft will then continue onto Tianjin.

The airline, which launched its first British route from London Gatwick airport this June, will also increase its twice-weekly service to three flights per week in next summer. The service currently departs every Wednesday and Saturday from Gatwick, arriving in China the following day.

Robert Chen, British general manager for Tianjin Airlines, said: "We're delighted to announce yet more new services for British travelers following the hugely successful launch of our first ever flights from Gatwick to Tianjin and Chongqing in China. We're proud to be helping introduce British travelers to our fascinating country through our high quality service and unbeatable flights."

Guy Stephenson, Gatwick's chief commercial officer, said: "We are delighted that Tianjin has announced a new route from Gatwick to China. Tianjin Airlines now connects Gatwick to three of China's megacities, including the UK's only direct flights to Xi'an, home of the Terracotta Army, and Chongqing, southwest China's commercial capital. Our passengers will value the increased frequency of services to China announced today."

Tianjin Airlines, a subsidiary of HNA Group, currently operates a fleet of nearly 90 aircraft to more than 100 destinations throughout China from its eight hubs.

China and Britain have been strengthening the aviation cooperation. Officials from both sides agreed on a deal to more than double the number of flights allowed to be operated between the two countries last month.

In a statement the British Department for Transport (DfT) said under the new deal passenger flights can now be increased from the current maximum of 40 per week for each nation to up to 100. There will be no limit on the number of all-cargo services, creating new opportunities for British trade and businesses.

Meanwhile, a restriction on the number of destinations that airline can serve has also been increased, meaning services can be operated between any point in Britain and any point in China.

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