First direct flight to Beijing will take off next year, says TAP Portugal

TAP Portugal’s first direct flights to mainland China will start next year, the Expresso newspaper reports.

“We went to China and they [HNA Group] said we could have four weekly direct flights to Beijing next year and I believe that could be a reality before summer,” TAP shareholder David Neeleman was quoted as saying.

Mr Neeleman, a Brazilian-American entrepreneur who owns a significant share of the now-privatised airline, said the matter had been discussed with TAP’s partner, HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines.

Hainan Airlines won permission to fly directly between the mainland and Portugal in June. Expresso says the carrier will be the first to fly direct between the two countries.