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25 Feb 2019

China has lift off!

Tourism Ireland welcomes inaugural Hainan Airlines flight from Shenzhen to Dublin

Tourism Ireland warmly welcomes the inaugural Hainan Airlines flight from Shenzhen, in south-eastern China, to Dublin – which landed here earlier today (25 February). This is the second service from Mainland China to Ireland – with Hainan already operating a service from Beijing since last year – and will help to significantly boost tourism from China to the island of Ireland. The airline will operate two flights per week between Shenzhen and Dublin.

Tourism Ireland will partner with Hainan Airlines this spring, to highlight the island of Ireland and drive demand for the new service. Activity will include Ireland ads running on popular social platforms, as well as on the Hainan Airlines website, around St Patrick’s Day. 

James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “The new Hainan Airlines service from Shenzhen to Dublin is really good news for Irish tourism in 2019, as we continue the roll-out of our market diversification strategy. As an island destination, we know the importance of direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated; there’s a proven correlation between access and growth in visitor numbers, so this new flight will be an important factor in growing visitor numbers from China. We look forward to working closely with Hainan Airlines, Dublin Airport Authority and other tourism interests, to maximise the promotion of this new service to Dublin.

“China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. A key message for Tourism Ireland in China is the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa of either country. In May, Tourism Ireland will undertake our 2019 sales mission to China – when we will meet with top Chinese travel agents and tour operators in the key cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.”
  James Kenny, Tourism Ireland; Mr Wang Yequan, General Manager of Hainan Airlines in Shenzhen; and Hainan Airlines crew, in Shenzhen before the take-off of the inaugural Hainan Airlines flight from Shenzhen to Dublin.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2018, we welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+6% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion (+10%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20+ million visitors in 2018.