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IHG Explorer: A branded Boeing 787 Dreamliner with bespoke business class dining options

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IHG Hotels & Resorts has unveiled a dynamic partnership with Hainan Airlines that offers a richly integrated travel experience across both air and land. The partnership brings to life the ‘IHG Explorer’, a branded aircraft featuring bespoke business class dining options, amplified member benefits and a creative co-branded safety video.

IHG is one of the first international hotel companies to enter the Chinese market and it remains committed to an ‘in China, for China’ business approach, prioritising the development of the Chinese market with a focus on providing a localised ‘True Hospitality for Good’, building hotel brands beloved by guests, and delivering outstanding returns for owners and shareholders. Together, IHG and Hainan Airlines are reimagining travel by incorporating diverse cultural elements into guests’ journeys, while driving the development of tourism through personalised experiences.

The two-year collaboration between IHG and Hainan Airlines brings together the strengths and resources of both companies, with a partnership that aims to create exceptional ‘in-flight travel experiences’ while enriching travel for those venturing between Hainan Free Trade Port and other major cities.

Redefining air travel with surprises and innovation

The partnership has seen the debut of the ‘IHG Explorer’ aircraft, which represents the ongoing commitment of both companies to deliver delightful travel experiences that are full of surprises for passengers. The fuselage of the ‘IHG Explorer’ is painted with IHG’s iconic deep blue colour, marking the first time that Hainan Airlines has launched a fully themed aircraft with a hotel group. The cabin’s overhead luggage compartment is decked with custom decals visible throughout whilst the business class section is adorned with tailored lumbar pillows co-created by the HUALUXE brand and Chinese artist Chen Jiu – immersing travellers in charming Chinese aesthetics as they enjoy the comfort of 180-degree reclining seats.

Before take-off, passengers will watch a creative co-branded safety video that blends IHG’s extensive and varied brand portfolio into essential flight safety instructions. The video highlights a myriad of captivating destinations of the group in China, heightening guests’ excitement for an exceptional journey.

Enjoy the flavour of the seasons in-flight

Amidst a thriving culinary tourism market, guests are increasingly drawn to unique dining experiences and cultural immersions. With its deep understanding of traditional Chinese culture and innovative culinary concepts, IHG is introducing food from its sophisticated Chinese restaurant brand, Cai Feng Lou, aboard business class dining services. Through a seasonally inspired array of exquisite Chinese cuisine, the menu paints a vibrant picture of regional delicacies. The inaugural seasonal menu, ‘Cloud Banquet: Springtime Island Delights’, seamlessly blends classic Cantonese dishes with the local flavours of Hainan, capturing the richness of Chinese culinary heritage. Additionally, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts has collaborated with Hainan Airlines to offer a co-branded signature tea, ‘HUALUXE Cloud Aroma’, elevating the airborne experience with a touch of the ‘Chinese aesthetics lifestyle’.

A shared journey of seamless hospitality

IHG and Hainan Airlines will gradually introduce more diverse member benefits during the second quarter of this year, offering IHG One Rewards and Fortune Wings Club members a range of exciting experiences – providing rich member benefits from ground to sky.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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