[photopress:air_seattle_1.jpg,full,alignright]Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth-largest carrier, begins nonstop service from Seattle (in our illustration on the left) to Beijing on June 9. Northwest Airlines will follow with a daily nonstop service between Seattle and Beijing in March 2009. [photopress:air_beijing_1.jpg,full,alignleft]These are moves which will make a lot of Microsoft executives very happy.
The new Northwest Airlines service will use Airbus A330-200s equipped with 32 business-class seats and 211 economy-class seats.
Joel Chusid, North American general manager for Hainan Airlines, whose new Seattle-Beijing service begins next month, said, ‘This just validates the fact that Seattle has become a major gateway to the Pacific. Competition is competition, but we understand it. It just speaks to the vibrancy of the market.’
Last year, about 69,000 passengers flew between Seattle and China, not including passengers connecting through Seattle from other cities. By 2009, that number is expected to nearly double.
Source: The Seattle Times