Hainan Airlines launch first direct route between Edinburgh and Beijing

The year-round service will operate four times a week and is Scotland’s first connection with the Far East

Scotland’s busiest airport has gained its first direct connection with China as Hainan Airlines have launched a service between Edinburgh and Beijing.

The new route is expected to boost tourism to the region with a starting capacity of an additional 29,000 Chinese visitors to the Scottish capital. The service will operate return trips twice a week.

The first flight from Hainan Airlines lands at Edinburgh Airport direct from Beijing, China / www.iangeorgesonphotography.co.uk Hainan Airlines launch first direct route between Edinburgh and Beijing
The first direct flight from from Beijing, China by Hainan Airlines lands at Edinburgh Airport – Ian Georgeson Photography / Edinburgh Airport

“This is a momentous day as we connect not only Edinburgh and Beijing for the first time, but Scotland and China too. It is a route which has immense opportunities for our countries, from tourism and business to culture, education and more,” said the chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar.

“We know Edinburgh is second only to London for Chinese tourists and we are eager to welcome more people to our fantastic capital city, but it’s also about connecting people from Scotland to Beijing and wider China thanks to Hainan’s hub network.

Skipping London on the way to Scotland might also be a big advantage for local businesses as tourists can spend extra two to three days shopping, and the cost of business trips will be reduced.

“As the only Scottish city with a direct flight to China, the new route will provide Edinburgh with substantial outreach to Asia for tourism, business travel and investment opportunities,” said the lord provost of the City of Edinburgh, Frank Ross.

“This will be supported by many across the retail, hotel and restaurant sectors through the city’s innovative China Ready campaign and I’m sure it will also be welcomed by Edinburgh’s many business travellers and holidaymakers.”

According to Edinburgh Airport’s official statement, the carrier will use Airbus A330-300 to operate the route. The connection includes a stopover in Dublin “as part of an innovative flight model which links the three capital cities”, the statement clarifies.

The connection with Chinese capital will also play the role as a major hub in Asia. Being the airport’s first connection with the Far East, it is also opening the doors to more visitors from countries such as Singapore and Vietnam.