Hainan Airlines recently announced that the airline would launch a twice-weekly service between Kolkata and Shenzen, a 45-minute drive from Hong Kong, on September 27, 2011. This is the second carrier to connect Kolkata with a Chinese city, the first one being China Eastern that launched flights in 2008. The twice-a-week service may be increased to thrice weekly from the winter schedule that commences on November 1. The airline will operate a Boeing B-737-800 series aircraft and offer eight business class and 154 economy class seats.
 
Hainan had earlier planned to launch the service on July 2, 2011, but postponed the date following non-availability of aircraft due to commitments on the domestic sectors. This time though, the airline is confident of launching the service, according to a report in The Times of India.
 
"We hope to record good loads by tapping leisure traffic during the festive season of Durga Puja. While some will do the Shenzen-Hong Kong-Macau circuit, others will opt for Beijing-Shanghai-Guangzhou," a Hainan Airlines official said.
 

 
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