The Chinese airline will fly between Israel and China three times a week from September.
China’s Hainan Airlines has officially filed a request to launch Tel Aviv-Beijing flights in September. Privately-owned Hainan Airlines, the fourth largest Chinese carrier, will compete with El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) on the Israel-China route.
In the initial stage, Hainan will operate three weekly flights between Ben Gurion airport and Beijing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, probably using A330 passenger jets. These are days on which El Al does not operate Tel Aviv Beijing flights.
Hainan Airlines, whose representatives visited Israel last month, plans to launch a fourth weekly flight at a later stage.
According to the Israel Airports Authority, 54, 000 passengers travelled on the Tel Aviv-Beijing route in 2014, up 5% from 2013. The potential for growth is huge, with few Chinese tourists coming to Israel. In 2013, according to the Ministry of Tourism, 34, 000 Chinese tourists visited Israel, up 36.2% from 2013.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com