We’ve seen an incredible amount of growth when it comes to aviation in China, and in particular we’ve seen huge expansion when it comes to longhaul international flights being operated by mainland Chinese carriers.
This has included a lot of routes that may seem “random,” though this is due to China’s aviation policy. Since 2009 China has had a “one route, one Chinese airline policy,” and with this, only one Chinese airline can operate each longhaul route. There are a few markets where there are exceptions (like Shanghai to Frankfurt), but in a vast majority of longhaul markets that policy exists.
Last I heard this policy is being partly scaled back. For countries with at least a partial open skies agreement (including the US), the policy will be abolished completely, while other longhaul destinations will still have some restrictions. However, to my knowledge that still hasn’t fully happened.
So the number of nonstop routes between the US and China has increased greatly, and there’s no airport where that’s more visible than LAX. As of now there are nonstop flights from LAX to over a dozen mainland Chinese city. You can now add yet another destination to that list.
In September I wrote about a new route that Hainan had requested permission to operate, and it’s now official.
As of December 31, 2018, Hainan Airlines will be launching 2x weekly flights between Los Angeles and Xi’an. That’s not a typo — the airline just put the flight on sale, a mere three weeks before it’s due to launch.
The flight will be operated with the following schedule on Mondays and Thursdays in both directions:
HU493 Xi’an to Los Angeles departing 9:10PM arriving 6:10PM
HU494 Los Angeles to Xi’an departing 11:20PM arriving 5:10AM (+2 days)
The flight will cover a distance of 6,826 miles, and is blocked at 13hr eastbound and 13hr50min westbound.
Hainan will be using a Boeing 787-8 for the route, which features their fully flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. This is the same product that I flew between Los Angeles and Changsha a few years ago.
Unfortunately this isn’t their new reverse herringbone business class product.
This new flight is now bookable. I don’t see any amazing fares loaded for this year, but in general mainland Chinese carriers have incredibly low fares, so I’d expect that to be the case here as well.
This airline will be Hainan’s fourth destination out of LAX, after Changsha, Chengdu, and Chongqing.
This route signifies the 14th nonstop flight between LAX and mainland China, as we have the following destinations from Chinese carriers:
- Air China — Beijing, Shenzhen
- China Eastern — Nanjing, Shanghai
- China Southern — Guangzhou, Shenyang
- Hainan Airlines — Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an
- Sichuan Airlines — Hangzhou, Jinan
- Xiamen Air — Qingdao, Xiamen
What do you make of Hainan’s new route between LAX and Xi’an?
(Tip of the hat to @airlineroute)
I hope the best for Hainan aitlines. It's a really good airline. From my city only Hainan and Delta fly to Beijing and Shanghai. I just don't want to ride Deltas 18yo planes and much prefer Hainans new planes and better service
funny seeing @debit complaining abt my government arrest american residents when one got killed and dismentled in istanbul, and yet u seemed to forgot mention. #stupidwhiteleftty
It's actually the 18th flight between LAX and mainland China. AA, UA, and DL all fly to Shanghai out of LAX, and AA also flies to Beijing.
@Lucky you should really thank these Chinese airlines to make business class travel more affordable. Almost 99% time, I found a business class late booking at Hainan airlines’s transpacific routes are cheaper than NYC to LHR
@bangkokiscool I believe around 34% of the population of LA County was born overseas and almost 75% are not “Caucasian”
@ aw -- Too long.
Just asking here, but...how long has Debit been here?
I've been waiting for this route to launch for a while and it finally happened, but looks like Monday flights for Jan & Feb are not scheduled, which is exactly when I wanted to fly. Any ideas these flights will get scheduled or not?
@Gene if you're going to fly to Xian just to see the warriors, I'd like to recommend taking the 1.5 hour train ride to Luoyang to see the Longmen Grottoes. 100,000 Buddhas carved into the rock.
Cue press release from Partnership for Open & Fair Skies decrying unfair competition in 3...2...
Oh my bad I forgot only the ME3 receive heavy government subsidies and dumps capacity. /sarcasm
In all seriousness this is a neat route, but I have my doubts that the Chinese carriers are making money on the US-Chinese routes with $1500 biz fares and $400 coach fares. The US3 certainly are bleeding money flying to China.
@ Ben -- Awesome. I am not a big fan of China, but I do want to see the Terracotta Soldiers. This should be a great way to get there.
I will call it the Terra Cotta Express. Also HNA Group has no problem losing money, so... ♂️
PRC Chinese are racist? Against who? How do you get lower than that?
Roll eyes. Of course, only Caucasians live in Los Angeles. PRC Chinese are so freaking racist it's unbelievable.
to all my Caucasian friends, Xian is home to the 2k-year-old Terracotta Museum and excavation site. plus awesome spicy food.