Hainan Airlines subsidiary Tianjin Airlinesis planning to extend its regional network to an international map by adding Tianjin-Vancouver service, planned for launch in mid-2016.
The airline, which currently operates only single-aisle Airbus and Embraer aircraft, is due to take delivery of its first A330 from a 20-aircraft order allocated to the carrier earlier this year.
The carrier said it will use the new aircraft to operate a 4X-weekly transpacific service to the Canadian city with a single stop at Chongqing, underlining the increasing importance of the North American routes flying from tier-two Chinese destinations—such as Sichuan Airlines’ Shenyang-Vancouver route.
With an eye on further expansion, Tianjin president Liu Lu said that as the airline takes delivery of more A330s, it will be applying to open yet more long-haul routes to Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
The move follows Tianjin’s long-haul air operator’s certificate upgrade in August this year, sanctioned by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, to allow it to operate international passenger and cargo flights.
The new route adds to the international tier-two schedule count from Capital Airlines, Tianjin's sibling Hainan subsidiary, which launched weekly A330 flights from Beijing and Hangzhou to Copenhagen in September. Capital has said it will also open a new route to Helsinki by the end of 2015.
Tianjin flies to regional destinations across Russia, Japan, South Korea andThailand as well as domestic destinations in China, using a 90-aircraft fleet of A320s, E190s and E145s.