Hainan Airlines has announced plans to launch nonstop service between Xi’an and Los Angeles starting Dec. 31, 2018, making this the first scheduled non-stop service between the Chinese city and Los Angeles, as well as North America in general. China’s largest privately owned carrier maintains a hub in Xi’an, serving numerous domestic and international locations from the city, the capital of Shaanxi Province in Northern China.
The new service will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays from Los Angeles and Xi’an. The flight from Xi’an departs at 9:10 p.m. and arrives in Los Angeles at 6:10 p.m. as HU493, with the return flight, HU494, departing Los Angeles at 11:20 p.m., arriving back in Xi’an at 5:10 a.m. two days later because of the international date line. The flights are scheduled to take just under 14 hours westbound and about 13 hours eastbound.
The route will be serviced by the Hainan’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft in a two-class configuration, featuring 36 business class seats and 177 economy class seats. This is also the same aircraft used by the airline on its current service to Changsha, one of the three routes Hainan currently operates from Los Angeles. Passengers in business class will also be able to take advantage of Hainan’s complimentary limousine service to the airport in Los Angeles.
Being a Hainan Airlines hub, Xi’an’s airport features a Hainan Airlines lounge, the Prime Wing Lounge. Select passengers will also be able to enjoy Hainan’s revamped Prime Wing Lounge, which features exclusive regional Chinese dining, a massage zone and a VIP private room.
While maintaining hubs in Beijing and Haikou, Hainan has made Xi’an a strong focus city. The Haikou-based airline already has several routes from Xi’an, with services to Tokyo, Rome, Paris, Sydney and Melbourne currently in place. Additionally, the airline has a strong domestic route network from Xi’an, offering passengers an additional option when connecting to smaller Chinese cities.
Although the Hainan flight is a first for Los Angeles, United Airlines first served Xi’an non-stop from its California hub in San Francisco. This seasonal route, including its service to Hangzhou, was also flown by the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner though the route was dropped in summer 2017 after being launched in spring 2016. United determined the route was no longer economically viable and blamed weak demand, although Hainan will be operating the service year-round.
The launch of the new route bolsters Hainan Airlines’ presence in North America, where it has launched 18 North American to date routes covering Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Mexico City and Tijuana.
Albert recently completed his undergraduate studies in Business Accounting at USC in Los Angeles and he is currently recruiting for a corporate analyst position at one of the U.S. legacy carriers. During his college years, he interned at LAX for Los Angeles World Airports working behind-the-scenes (and on the ramp) in public relations and accounting. Outside of writing for AirlineGeeks, he enjoys trekking the Hollywood hills, visiting new hotspots throughout SoCal, and doing the occasional weekender on Spirit Airlines.