BEIJING, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hainan Airlines signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Brussels Airport at the signing ceremony for the China-Belgium Economic and Trade Cooperation held in Beijing on October 31, in the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. During the ceremony, the two companies announced the launch of new Shanghai- Brussels flight service, scheduled to commence in 2017. Zhang Ling, chairman of HNA Tourism Group, and Sun Jianfeng, a member of the executive management team at Hainan Airlines, attended the event along with Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist.
In 2006, Hainan Airlines launched Beijing- Brussels service, creating an air bridge for friendly exchanges between China and Brussels, headquarters for the vast majority of the European Union's institutions. In 2015, 114,000 passengers took the flight, an increase nearing five times the number that flew the route during its first year of service. In March 2016, Hainan Airlines held a "Remembrance at 10,000 Meters" ceremony to convey its support for the people affected by the Brussels terrorism attack.