DIRECT flights between Dublin and China will begin later this year, adding more one-stop options between Ireland and Australia.
The first direct flights between Ireland and China will begin in June. Hainan Airlines will operate between Dublin and Beijing while Cathay Pacific will connect Hong Kong with the Irish capital. Eight direct flights will link the countries every week.
Both airlines connect to Australia offering expats more options when it comes to booking trips home. Meanwhile, WA-based Irish can now travel one-stop to Ireland via London following the launch last week of Qantas direct flights between Perth and London Heathrow. It is the first direct air-link between Europe and Australia and the fastest way to travel between the continents.
Qantas CEO and Dubliner Alan Joyce, who was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, said it was a major milestone for Australia, as well as global aviation.
“This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,” Mr Joyce said. “The response has been amazing.” Mr Joyce said a huge amount of work had gone into improving the experience for customers taking the 17-hour journey. “This is hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has ever put in the sky. Boeing designed the Dreamliner with features to reduce jet lag, turbulence and noise.
“We’ve taken that a step further with our cabin design, giving passengers more space in every class as well as bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage. “We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jet lag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.”
The daily QF9 begins in Melbourne, flying to Perth before travelling nonstop to London. Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London.
Those travelling between Ireland and Australia already have a range of one-stop options including Emirates (via Dubai), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi) and Qatar (via Doha). All three airlines offer slick connections, cutting flying time to almost 20 hours.
The chief executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, hailed the addition of extra long-haul direct routes into Dublin. “[The] announcement is excellent news for Irish tourism in 2018 and beyond.” “As an island destination, we know the importance of direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated,” Mr Gibbons added.