Hainan Airlines will launch direct flights between Brussels Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport sometime next year.
The gateways says the new service will facilitate existing investment and export opportunities for both countries and also create new ones.
During an official visit led by Prime Minister Charles Michel, Hainan Airlines and Brussels Airport Company signed a letter of intent for further collaboration.
Hainan previously operated a direct flight between Brussels and Shanghai from May 2010 to December 2011. Further details about the frequency, schedule, type of aircraft and exact launch date will be released in the coming weeks.
Brussels Airport Company chief executive officer, Arnaud Feist says: “The non-stop connection between Brussels and Shanghai gives additional growth opportunities to both economies. The distance between the two cities will become smaller, facilitating direct commercial relations and stimulating tourism.
“This flight will in itself create more than 100 direct jobs in Belgium and many more indirectly. The extensive network out of Brussels Airport to other European destinations and to Africa offers additional opportunities for business travellers and tourists from the Shanghai region.”
Hainan lead executive, Sun Jianfeng adds: “There is a growing interest from the business communities in both countries. In recent years, Shanghai has become a particularly attractive investment destination due to its significantly improved market position and a flourishing local market.
“Belgium has had a strong link with Shanghai for many years. Business leaders in both countries are reacting very positively to this new direct connection.”
Both partners will also collaborate in efforts towards the future daily operation of the routes to both Beijing and Shanghai and continue to look at further development opportunities within the HNA Group.