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New Route of the Day (19 March 2024): Hainan Airlines between Chongqing and Milan MXP


Hainan Airlines inaugurated operations between Chongqing, in southwestern China, and Milan MXP on Tuesday 19 March. The 8,275-kilometre route will be maintained 2-weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a mix of 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft. The carrier faces no competition between the two cities.

Flight HU427 departs Chongqing at 02:00 local time, arriving in Milan MXP at 06:45 local time. The return service, operating as HU428 is wheels up from Italy’s second busiest airport at 11:15 local time, touching back down in China at 05:00 local time the following morning.

What they said

Andrea Tucci, Vice President for Aviation Business Development at airport operator SEA, said: “In 2019 we only had three destinations to China. However, today, it is with great satisfaction that we celebrate this new service by Hainan Airlines, which is the fifth carrier linking Milan to China. As a result, Milan Malpensa now has 34-weekly frequencies to China with 8 destinations and 5 carriers. Capacity levels on China flights have risen by 40%. China, in fact, drives Malpensa’s growth towards Asia, by 25%. We are growing in quality with new carriers, new destinations like the one introduced today, and above all we are adding new connectivity to major hubs.”

Hainan Airlines adds second Milan service

The nonstop service between Chongqing and Milan MXP marks another milestone in the growth of the Asian market at the Italian airport, where Chinese nationals hold a significant share in arrivals and departures, ranking second in terms of the number of non-Schengen passengers, following those from North America.

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In addition to Hainan Airlines’ new service, the carrier also maintains flights between Shenzhen and Milan MXP. Furthermore, Air China runs services from Beijing PEK, Shanghai PVG and Wenzhou to Italy’s second-largest city, while Juneyao Air operates flights from Zhengzhou. Beyond mainland China, Cathay Pacific serves Milan MXP from its Hong Kong hub, while EVA Air operates from Taipei.

The only Italian carrier flying between Milan MXP and China is Neos, with its service to Nanjing.

Milan MXP within Europe’s top ten for China connectivity

Milan MXP currently has the eighth highest volume of flights to China from Europe. It is behind only London LHR, Moscow SVO, Frankfurt, Paris CDG, Istanbul IST, Amsterdam, and its Italian counterpart Rome FCO, but ahead of the likes of Munich, Madrid, and London LGW.

Chongqing is a major city and municipality in China. It is the only Chinese municipality with a permanent population of over 30 million. In 2020, Chongqing passed Shanghai to become China’s largest municipality by urban population. As of 2022, it has an urban population of 22.8 million. Chongqing serves as a centre for finance in the Sichuan Basin, as well as for manufacturing and transportation.

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