Aviation roundup: Qatar Airways, Hainan Airlines and more

Here’s our weekly roundup of new air routes and other aviation updates.

Qatar Airways announces seven new destinations
Qatar Airways has added seven destinations to its network, two of which are in Asia.

The destinations are Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Langkawi, Malaysia; Davao, the Philippines; Izmir, Turkey; and Mogadishu, Somalia.

The airline has also unveiled its new Economy Class experience. Features include a a 19-degree recline system, additional legroom, dual trays, 13.3-inch 4 K widescreens, type ‘C’ fast charging USB port, and faster broadband.

In addition, the in-flight dining experience has been enhanced with new retail-style tableware, a menu offering more choices, 25 per cent larger main courses, 20 per cent larger appetisers and 50 per cent larger desserts.

Hainan Airlines launches two routes from Shenzhen
Hainan Airlines has mounted two direct flights to Dublin and Tel Aviv from Shenzhen.

The first route, to Dublin, is operated twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. HU755 will depart Shenzhen at 01.30 and arrive at 07.00. The return leg HU756 will take off from Dublin at 09.00 and arrive back in Shenzhen 05.30 the following day.

The Shenzhen-Dublin route is Hainan Airlines’ second direct route between mainland China and Ireland.

Similarly, its Tel Aviv flight will operate twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

HU743 departs Shenzhen at 01.35 and arrives in Tel Aviv at 07.35, while return flight HU744 will depart Tel Aviv at 13.10 and arrive in Shenzhen at 05.00 the following day.

The Shenzhen-Tel Aviv route is Hainan Airlines’ first direct connection between mainland China and the Middle East.

Thai AirAsia X expands China network
Thai AirAsia X will launch a direct flight to Tianjin from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport. The four-times weekly flight (Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Sunday) will begin on May 3, 2019.

Thai AirAsia X currently flies direct to China on the Bangkok (Don Mueang)-Shanghai route.

JAL and Vistara enter codeshare partnership
Japan Airlines (JAL) and India’s Vistara Airlines have entered into a codeshare partnership.

As part of the agreement, Japan Airlines will add its JL designator code to some 32 Vistara-operated daily flights across India, covering seven cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune.

The two airlines already have an interline through check-in partnership, thanks to an MoU signed in September 2017. Vistara is the only codeshare partner for Japan Airlines in India.

Both airlines will operate out of Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3.

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