Hainan Airlines will launch a new year-round direct service from Shenzhen to Dublin later this month.

The Chinese airline will operate two flights per week between Dublin and Shenzhen, which is in south-eastern China.

Shenzhen will be Dublin Airport’s second destination in mainland China, as Hainan already operates a Dublin-Beijing service.

“We are delighted that Hainan has decided to expand its Irish operation and launch this new service to Shenzhen,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “Shenzhen is China’s answer to Silicon Valley in the United States and this new route will further increase trade, tourism and investment between Ireland and China.”

Hainan’s existing Dublin-Beijing service, which currently operates twice a week, will return to four times weekly for the summer season.

Hainan will operate its new Shenzhen route with a Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner with 289 seats. The route will operate on Mondays and Fridays, beginning February 25.

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“We have worked closely with Hainan to establish this new route to Shenzhen, and over the coming weeks and months we and other stakeholders will be continuing to help them to promote this new service,” Mr Harrison said.

“Shenzhen is a really exciting destination for both business and leisure travel, and the addition of this new service will expand the growing number of Chinese visitors to Ireland,” he added.

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Hainan entered the Irish market last June when it launched a service to Beijing via Edinburgh. On alternate days the service either operates direct between Dublin and Beijing or has a stopover in Edinburgh.

The new Shenzhen service is one of 20 new routes at Dublin Airport for this year, which serviced 31.5 million passengers last year – a 6% increase on the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, Hainan’s existing Dublin-Beijing service, which is currently operates twice a week, will return to four times weekly for the summer season.

Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport’s Managing Director Vincent Harrison, said the new route will further increase trade, tourism and investment between Ireland and China.

“We have worked closely with Hainan to establish this new route to Shenzhen, and over the coming weeks and months we and other stakeholders will be continuing to help them to promote this new service,’ Mr Harrison said.

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