Hainan Airlines yesterday launched a new twice-weekly route between China’s Shenzhen Boa’an International Airport and Brussels Airport.
The new route to Southeast China will promote tourism and freight activities, particularly e-commerce between the two countries.
This brings the number of flights that Hainan operates between China and Brussels Airport to 10 flights a week, including five to Beijing and three to Shanghai. The airline will fly to Shenzhen with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday.
The new non-stop service was inaugurated by the Chinese ambassador to Belgium Xing Qu, the Hainan Airlines country manager, Olivier Yang, and Brussels Airport Company chief executive officer, Arnaud Feist.
Feist said: “The opening of the new direct route between Brussels and Shenzhen can enhance mutually beneficial relationships. The city of Shenzhen with over 11 million inhabitants is as large as Belgium’s population.
“And so not only for tourism between the two regions and cultural exchange, but also for business the potential is huge. Shenzhen indeed hosts the headquarters of many of the major Chinese technology, textile and financial companies such as Huawei and BYD.”
The direct route to Shenzhen enhances and facilitates the existing investment and export opportunities between the two countries. Shenzhen is a mecca of technology and finance.
Leading companies including Ping-An Bank, Tencent, BYD and Huawei have established their headquarters there. The city is also known for its fine textiles and growing e-commerce. The direct connection to Brussels will make it easier for Belgian e-commerce companies to expand their business in Southeast China.
Shenzhen Boa’an International Airport is in the process of vigorous international and intercontinental expansion. It has registered growth from 32 million passengers in 2013 to nearly 45 million in 2017.
Until the beginning of 2017, the focus for the airport was on domestic, and regional traffic, but the airport has the capacity and potential to attract intercontinental passengers as well. Last year the airport embarked on a rapid expansion in the number of international and intercontinental routes.
Hainan Airlines country manager, Olivier Yang said: “The Shenzhen Boa’an to Brussels Airport route is one of the first routes to the European continent.
“We are therefore very pleased to inaugurate this connection today. Hainan Airlines opened three non-stop international routes recently: Shenzhen-Auckland, Shenzhen-Brisbane, and Shenzhen-Cairns.
“We hope to be able to welcome many Belgian tourists coming to Shenzhen, or travelling on to Australia or New Zealand.”