17 JULY 2017
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Russia is being asked for overflying rights to enable Norwegian international to launch a direct flight between Dublin and Beijing, according to the airline’s chief executive, Tore Jenssen.
He told the Irish Independent Dublin's new runway, set to open in 2021, would be long enough to allow the airline to launch the route using the Boeing B787-9. Norwegian is awaiting delivery of six of the aircraft this year.
There are currently no direct flights between Ireland and China, or anywhere else in eastern Asia, and Jenssen said winning first-freedom rights from Russia could be a lengthy process taking “a couple of years".
The Irish Times added to the debate last week when it reported the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines is also considering a Beijing – Dublin service and is in talks with the Dublin Airport Authority.
Jenssen told the Independent: “It would be great for Ireland if both we and Hainan flew from Dublin to Beijing. Imagine the fares. I think there are plenty of Chinese who want to come to Ireland."
Such developments would add to the momentum at Dublin Airport, which last week reported passenger numbers reaching 2.9m in June, a 6% increase on the same month last year.
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