On July 26, Xiamen Airlines officially launched the carrier's very first intercontinental route, the Xiamen-Amsterdam route. The new route marks a key milestone in the airline's implementation of its globalization strategy.
Xiamen Airlines will operate the new route, flight numbers MF811 and MF812, with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 4 seats in first class, 18 in business and 214 in economy.
The flight departs Xiamen at 11.50pm. every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and arrives at Amsterdam's Schiphol at 5.45 am the next day. The flight duration is 11 hours and 55 minutes. The return journey departs Amsterdam at 12.35 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and arrives in Xiamen at 5.30 am the next day, with a flight duration of 10 hours and 55 minutes. The above are all local times, and were arranged to facilitate connections to other flights after passengers reach their destinations.
The new route complements KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' existing Xiamen-Amsterdam route - also on a three-times-a-week schedule, signifying that, starting from July 26, there will be six direct flights between Xiamen and Amsterdam weekly.
Xiamen Airlines has upgraded both the air and ground services for the new intercontinental route, with a concerted effort on integrating Chinese cultural elements into its services. As an example, the new tableware for the first class and business class cabins are made of blanc de chine, and authentic highly-reputed lapsang souchong tea will be on offer in the two cabins.
Xiamen Airlines operates a fleet of 119 Boeing jets, which is the biggest all-Boeing fleet in China. The fleet now has 5 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, with the sixth to be delivered soon. As part of the expansion plans for further intercontinental routes originating from Fujian province, the airline has ordered 4 more advanced Boeing 787-9 aircraft, forming a fleet of 10 Boeing 787s.
Chairman and general manager Che Shanglun explained that Xiamen Airlines will launch a direct Xiamen-Sydney route at the end of this year. Next year, the carrier plans to launch routes to North America, completing a route network covering Europe, America and Australia, and supporting China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy by creating a "Silk Road in the Sky."