Chinese airline announces direct flights between Dublin and Beijing

The Tánaiste says the new route "will prove transformational to the bilateral relationship between China and Ireland"

Chinese airline announces direct flights between Dublin and Beijing

Image: Hainan Airlines

A Chinese airline will operate the first direct service between Ireland and mainland China from this summer. 

Hainan Airlines, the largest independent Chinese airline, says it will offer flights between Dublin to Beijing from June 12th.

The flights will operate four times per week - two non-stop services, and two services with a brief stopover in Edinburgh.

Flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney - who is visiting China as part of Irish ministers' international trips to mark St Patrick's Day - announced the new routes at a reception at the Irish Embassy in Beijing.

Minister Coveney explained: "Efforts to bring about the direct flights have been ongoing for the past four years both in Dublin and in China through the work of the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing, Tourism Ireland and the other Irish state agencies.

"Dublin Airport has been in talks with Hainan representatives throughout the period, and has worked as a close knit team with Tourism Ireland and our officials both here and in Dublin."

He suggested Irish tourists, students, business people and other travelers will benefit from the new services, adding: "In Ireland, our resident Chinese community will enjoy faster journeys when returning home for holidays, and we look forward to welcoming greater numbers of Chinese visitors."

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison added that the flights will link "not just our two capital cities, but also our two countries".

Hainan Airlines, meanwhile, says it will operate the new service with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft.