Ontario Airports Investments

Hainan Airlines launches non-stop service between Shenzhen and Brussels Airport


Hainan Airlines launches non-stop service between Shenzhen and Brussels Airport

On 20 March, Hainan Airlines launches a non-stop service between Brussels Airport and Shenzhen Boa’an International Airport. The new route to Southeast China will promote tourism and freight activities, particularly e-commerce between the two countries. The new non-stop service was inaugurated by the Chinese ambassador to Belgium Xing Qu, the Country Manager of Hainan Airlines Olivier Yang, and the CEO of Brussels Airport Company Arnaud Feist.

After Beijing (since 2006) and Shanghai Pudong (since October 2017), Shenzhen is the third direct destination in China served by Hainan Airlines from Brussels Airport. The rapid expansion of connectivity between China and Belgium should not come as a surprise. The Chinese are increasingly keen on travelling and they are curious to discover Europe.

“The opening of the new direct route between Brussels and Shenzhen can enhance mutually beneficial relationships. The city of Shenzhen with over 11 million inhabitants is as large as Belgium’s population. And so not only for tourism between the two regions and cultural exchange, but also for business the potential is huge. Shenzhen indeed hosts the headquarters of many of the major Chinese technology, textile and financial companies such as Huawei and BYD”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.

Some 7 million Chinese visit the European continent every year. Many consider Brussels an ideal starting point for a tour through Europe. The latest direct connection with Southeast China has great potential to bring even more Chinese tourists to our country and Europe, and vice-versa. Shenzhen’s picturesque coastline, old temples, large harbour and modern skyline have turned the Chinese city of 11 million into an attractive travel destination. Looking at the region, the Pearl River Delta has a population of 62 million people and is one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

The direct route to Shenzhen enhances and facilitates the existing investment and export opportunities between the two countries. Shenzhen is the Mecca of technology and finance. Leading companies including Ping-An Bank, Tencent, BYD and Huawei have established their headquarters there. The city is also known for its fine textiles and growing e-commerce. The direct connection to Brussels will make it easier for Belgian e-commerce companies to expand their business in Southeast China.

Shenzhen Boa’an International Airport is in the process of vigorous international and
intercontinental expansion. It has registered growth from 32 million passengers in 2013 to
nearly 45 million in 2017. Until the beginning of 2017, the focus for the airport was
primarily on domestic, regional traffic. The airport however has the capacity and potential
to attract intercontinental passengers as well. Last year the airport embarked on a rapid
expansion in the number of international and intercontinental routes. Hainan Airlines also
operates various direct flights to Australia and New Zealand.

Olivier Yang, Country Manager Hainan Airlines: “The Shenzhen Boa’an to Brussels Airport
route is one of the first routes to the European continent. We are therefore very pleased
to inaugurate this connection today. Hainan Airlines opened three non-stop international
routes recently: Shenzhen-Auckland, Shenzhen-Brisbane, and Shenzhen-Cairns. We hope
to be able to welcome many Belgian tourists coming to Shenzhen, or travelling on to
Australia or New Zealand.”

Hainan will operate a total of 10 flights a week between China and Brussels Airport as of
the summer, including five to Beijing and three to Shanghai. The airline will fly to Shenzhen
with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday.