[photopress:air_Wang_YungMinh__Hainan.jpg,full,alignright]China and the US will inaugurate six non-stop air routes between the two countries in 2008 and 2009, according to their agreement on further opening up aviation markets for each other.
Delta Air Lines has opened the Shanghai-Atlanta non-stop routes, marking the first US airline to open non-stop route between China and Southeast America and the first route of the airline to China.
United Airlines is to open the Guangzhou-San Francisco route on this June 20.
Northwest Airlines will fly the Detroit-Shanghai flight in 2009.
[photopress:air_panam.jpg,full,alignleft]Pan American World Airways (note although this is mentioned by World Markets the original airline has been defunct for some years and if it is flying this will be the third attempt at resuscitation. The picture is to remind older readers of the delights of that airline) will fly the Philadelphia-Beijing flight in 2009. A careful check shows this news was not released on April 1.
Continental Airlines will launch the Shanghai-New York flight in March 2009.
Apart from US air carriers, some large Chinese air carriers will also open non-stop routes between the two countries.
For instance, Hainan Airlines, will inaugurate the Beijing-Seattle route this June.
This will not be easy. The eight 787s Hainan ordered from Boeing had been scheduled to arrive in June; they’re now delayed until at least March.
Preparations to launch a new route can take a full a year, but to begin service for the summer tourist season, Hainan is finishing in half that time. The Chinese airline had been in talks with the Port of Seattle for several years about new nonstop service; it received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to go ahead in February.
Hainan is scrambling to complete its online reservations system and reach code-share deals with U.S. airlines to offer regional connections throughout the Northwest.
Most Americans have never heard of Hainan, China’s version of Hawaii, let alone its airline, Wang Yingming, the head of the airline and shown in our illustration) is confident he can win them over with superior service.
Founded in 1993, Hainan is China’s fourth-largest carrier, behind Air China, China Southern and China Eastern. The top three are state-run companies, but Hainan is not. It trades on the Shanghai stock exchange.
Hainan has expanded rapidly, ascending along with China’s booming economy. It flies to more than 40 cities within China and has international routes to Europe, Russia and Japan.
Sources: Trading Markets and The Seattle Tunes