French airline Aigle Azur will launch flights to Beijing next summer.
The carrier, which is part-owned by China’s HNA Group, will launch direct services between Paris and Beijing on 18 June 2014. It will become the third airline operating the route, following Air France and Air China, but unlike its rivals, Aigle Azur will operate from the French capital’s Orly-Sud Airport, rather than Charles de Gaulle.
Flights will operate three times a week using a 214-seat, two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, departing Paris on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Aigle Azur currently operates a range of short- and medium-haul flights to destinations in Europe and Africa. But the company said the Beijing route fits in with its long-term strategy of developing a long-haul network.
HNA, which operates several Chinese carriers including Hainan Airlines, purchased a 48% stake in Aigle Azur last year in a deal worth US$40 million.