BEIJING, March 19 Hainan Airlines Co Ltd
will take delivery of 27 aircraft this year that
will help increase the number of routes it flies to the United
States and Europe, a company executive said on Wednesday.
The deliveries will include four Boeing B787s and
three Airbus A330s longhaul jets and will boost the
airline's total fleet to 158 aircraft by the end of the year.
Hainan Airlines, which already flies to Chicago and Seattle,
wants to further expand into North America and this year will
start flying to Boston. The airline will also launch routes to
Brussels, Berlin, and Moscow, the executive said by telephone
from Hainan island.
Hainan Airlines will also open a service to Paris via a
code-share agreement with is sister company Blue Eagle Airlines,
he added, declining to be named as he is not authorised to speak
to the media.
Like larger rivals Air China Ltd, China Eastern
Airlines Corp Ltd and China Southern Airlines
, Hainan Airlines is ramping up its international
expansion to capitalise on an increase in outbound travellers
The airlines' overseas push should also help offset
declining revenue from business class travel which has been hit
by the government's austerity program, industry observers say.
Hainan Airlines' net income for 2013 rose 9.2 percent
year-on-year to 2.11 billion yuan ($340.76 million), according
to a stock exchange filing released late on Tuesday.
($1 = 6.1920 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing
by Miral Fahmy)