China Guide

Hainan Airlines – Guide to Hainan Airways

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines was born in 1989 offering flights from mainland China to Hainan Island. Since its establishment it has extended its destinations and continues to do so, including more and more North America and Europe destinations.

It is China’s largest privately owned airline and recently Skytrax recognised it as a “4 star airline, the first Chinese airline to receive such an award.

Flying in to Hainan

Flying to Hainan Island is desirably easy with two airports servicing both domestic and international flights.

Haikou Meilan International Airport is located to the north of the island in the town of Meilan which lies just 25km from Haikou’s city centre. You can either take a taxi or shuttle from the airport into the capital taking approximately 30minutes. The best cost wise is to take a shuttle as you are likely to pay three times as much for a taxi. These shuttles operate the airport to city run every 30minutes so is worth waiting.

While most enter the capital Haikou for business, most visitors heading to the island for pleasure end up in Sanya. Therefore the most efficient airport would be Sanya Phoenix International Airport. This airport is only 15km from the main centre. The only setback is that Sanya’s airport is largely domestic. If you are flying domestically from China you may need to stopover at Guangzhou while international flights will likely stopover in Hong Kong or Beijing.

Unfortunately there are no direct flights from the United Kingdom to Hainan as yet, however relatively cheap flights can be found with one or two stops mainly through China Southern Airlines, KLM or Air France.

Alternatives to Flying

Getting to Hainan has been made a lot easier over the last decade with new transportation systems allowing people to travel from mainland China across the strait without flying.


You can now take a train straight from the mainland to Hainan Island with the introduction of a railway ferry in 2003. These trains are both air conditioned and travel efficiently meaning a trip from Beijing should only take about 11hours. Rail routes include