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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 28, 2008
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China's Hainan Airlines Enter Polish Skies
May 28, 2008 By A.R.    
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Leading Chinese airline Hainan Airlines entered the Polish market with a maiden flight from Warsaw to Beijing in early April. The Chinese airline has teamed up with Hungary's Malev Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Poland's national carrier, LOT, to fly passengers from Warsaw to Beijing and several other Chinese cities via Budapest, Brussels or Berlin. Hainan Airlines has appointed the Polish subsidiary of Aviareps, the world's largest company in the aviation and tourism representation market, as its sales and PR agent in Poland.

Hainan Airlines offers flights on Boeing 767s to Beijing via Budapest three times a week: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Berlin connection will be available from Nov. 2, from when Hainan Airlines will operate nonstop flights to Beijing from Berlin in Airbus A330s on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Hainan Airlines' ticket prices are competitive. For example, a one-way flight from Warsaw to Beijing, Shanghai or Nanjing starts from 320 euros. Equally attractive are ticket prices to other popular Chinese cities such as Dalian, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan, Shenyang, Taiyuan, Changchun, Chengu and Xian. These flights start from 400 euros.

Says Marek Sławatyniec, general manager of Aviareps Polish division: "We are pleased that Hainan Airlines, one of China's largest airlines, has entered the Polish market on the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing. We are certain that, thanks to a convenient and competitively priced flight connection, Poles will be able to visit China more often than they have up to now."

Hainan Airlines will not have much competition on the Polish market since LOT decided to withdraw, from June 6, its recently launched Warsaw-Beijing connection. LOT plans to reinstate the route in 2010 after the airline receives new Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes. According to a LOT statement, "The key to LOT's success on Far Eastern routings was its long-distance fleet replacement program. Unfortunately, because of a production delay, the delivery of LOT's first order from 2005 of Boeing 787s has been postponed from 2008 to 2010. For this reason LOT was forced to push back its development of Far Eastern connections to 2010."

LOT says in the statement that, in the current situation, flight connections with Beijing would only be economically viable with Boeing 787 planes. In addition, LOT executives say, the necessity to take a southern routing and the high cost of fuel have a negative impact on the viability of air connections with the Far East.
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