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Chinese airline announces direct flights between Dublin and Beijing

Chinese airline announces direct flights between Dublin and Beijing

Hainan Airlines, the largest independent Chinese airline, says it will offer flights between Dublin to Beijing from June 12th.

The route will initially involve four Hainan Airlines flights per week originating in Dublin, with two non-stop to Beijing and two stopping in Edinburgh for a short stopover to pick up additional passengers before continuing to Beijing.

At a ceremony at the Irish Embassy in Beijing, Hainan Airlines signed cooperation agreements with the Dublin Airport, the Edinburgh Airport, Tourism Ireland and VisitScotland, seeking to play a leading role in deepening economic and cultural ties between China, Ireland and Scotland.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "We look forward to working closely with Hainan Airlines, Dublin Airport Authority and other tourism interests, to maximise the promotion of this new service to Dublin".

A Chinese airline will operate the first direct service between Ireland and mainland China from this summer. "The new service will go a long way in promoting bilateral relations between the two countries, and further enhance the connection between Dublin and Edinburgh".

Direct flights to China, with the enormous business and tourism potential they bring, have been in the works for years. Local communities here have hailed the good news, saying it will boost Ireland-China trade and relationship.

To facilitate Chinese visitors' trips to Ireland, the Dublin airport has recently launched a Wechat service in Chinese at the airport, said Paul.

Tourism Ireland estimates that approximately 70,000 visited the island of Ireland in 2017.

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Tourism Ireland does not know where exactly the Chinese visitors came from when asked to give a breakdown of the Chinese visitors to Ireland previous year, however, it does know the potential of the Chinese market.

Tourism Ireland said that an estimated 70,000 Chinese visited Ireland previous year and that the news of these new flights could increase this significantly.

The direct Beijing-Dublin flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, while the Beijing-Edinburgh-Dublin service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

"China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years".

Ireland is also home to more than 5,000 Chinese students attending school and college here.

He added that the British-Irish Visa Scheme allows Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the United Kingdom on a single visa of either country.

Xu Wei, chairman of the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Ireland, said that the number of members of his association has more than doubled to 14 from 6 when the association was founded in 2015.

It's part of an innovative flight model which links in three capital cities - Beijing, Edinburgh and Dublin.