(Source: Xinhua, China Daily)
Sun Jianfeng (second from left), Hainan Airlines president; Katherine Farley (fourth from left), chair of Lincoln Center; lawyer Christopher Nixon-Cox (center), grandson of former US president Richard Nixon; Wang Lei (fourth from right), deputy consul general of China in New York; and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (third from right) help cut the ribbon with other guests at the launch ceremony celebrating Hainan’s new direct flights between New York City and Chengdu and Chongqing on Oct 27 at Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center in New York.
NEW YORK – Hainan Airlines announced here Friday that it begins two new routes this week between New York City (NYC) and Chinese cities of Chengdu and Chongqing, marking the first non-stop service between those two areas.
Both of the two new routes operate through NYC’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), with service to Chongqing commencing on Oct 21 and service to Chengdu starting on Oct 27. Each route will operate twice weekly on Hainan Airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Chongqing-NYC, with a length about 7573 miles, will be the farthest distance that China-US direct flight of any Airlines by a Boeing 787 flies over.
“We’re excited to be offering the only non-stop flights between the US East Coast and the major cities of Chengdu and Chongqing. These new services represent the 13th and 14th non-stop trans-Pacific routes, following our West Coast launch earlier this year,” said Hainan Airlines President Sun Jianfeng.
The opening of the new route is expected to enhance exchanges and collaborations concerning culture, the economy, and politics between NYC and western China, he added.
As the most populous city in the United States, NYC has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics and sports.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is widely recognized for its Giant Panda Breeding Center. Chengdu also strikes the perfect balance of traditional Chinese customs and modern cultural elements, from the many traditional tea houses to the 150 museums it boasts.
Chongqing is a major commercial center of 30 million people, renowned for its distinctive spicy cuisine, and its busy port along the Yangtze River. As the provisional capital of China from 1937-1945, Chongqing also has a rich wartime history.
According to statistics from the National Travel and Tourism Office, 2016 saw almost 3,000,000 Chinese tourists enter the US, with more than 800,000 visitors to NYC alone.
“The opportunity for us to connect NYC with the fastest growing Chinese regional centers of Chengdu and Chongqing is expected to lead to additional trade opportunities throughout China and the US,” said Adam Tan, CEO of HNA Group (Hainan Airlines’ parent company).
In conjunction with the route launches, HNA Group, a global Fortune 500 company focused on tourism, logistics and financial services, is also supporting a series of NYC events including Lincoln Center’s Fall Gala, the China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala and the Asia Society’s Game Changer Awards.
Founded in January 1993, Hainan Airlines Holding Co Ltd has become one of the nine airlines in the world to be rated Five Star Award by Skytrax, an international air transport rating organization based in the United Kingdom.