After one year of operating between China and Israel, Hainan Airlines is launching direct flights between Tel Aviv and Shanghai. The Chinese carrier is also adding another flight, fifth weekly, to Tel Aviv-Beijing route in September due to increased demand.
The new route to China’s economic capital is a result of a marketing agreement Israel’s Tourism Ministry and Chinese Hainan Airlines sign on Sunday to increase Chinese tourist traffic to Israel. Hainan will receive a grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism for its new route.
As a result of the new agreement, starting September 12, Hainan Airlines will operate three direct weekly flights from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, using new Dreamliner 787-900 planes.
The flights will leave Ben Gurion Airport at 13:55 local time and land in Shanghai at 05:30 the following day. Return flight to Israel will leave Shanghai on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 01:25, landing in Ben Gurion at 08:30 the same day.
Ticket prices will begin at $670, while business class ticket costing $2,750.
According to the Tourism Ministry, since April 2016, the entry date of Hainan Airlines into the Israeli market the face of incoming tourism from China, have changed, leading to a significant drop in airfares.
In its first year of operations in Israel, Hainan Airlines flew 76,649 passengers on its direct flights Tel Aviv-Beijing-Tel Aviv route. At present, the carrier said that it had a 63% of the direct flights between the two countries. 30% of the passengers were Israelis and 70% Chinese. 35,800 tourists entered Israel from China in January-April 2017, traffic from China to Israel increase by 116%.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said, “Another direct route that will bring record numbers of tourists from China. We set as our goal to encourage and assist airlines in opening new direct routes from destinations that hold potential for incoming tourism to Israel and I am pleased that Hainan Airlines expresses a vote of confidence in us and continues its cooperation with us in its operations in Israel.”