Fresh coverage from American Airlines’ Beijing-Chicago launch

Exclusive pictures from this morning’s departure from Beijing: Cutting the ribbon are (from right to left) American Airlines’ MD Greater China, Li Zihuang; VP Asia & Pacific, Theo Panagiotoulias; and deputy MD of Beijing Airport, Fan Jun.

Earlier this week, the first AA passengers and crew were warmly welcomed to Beijing.

This morning, American Airlines for the first time flew between Beijing (PEK) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD), after the outbound flight from Chicago arrived in the Chinese capital yesterday evening (local time). The first flights were a month delayed, as the airline initially was offered slots that it considered commercially unviable.

The four weekly flights are operated with 245-seat 777-200ER aircraft and complement the airline’s existing flights from Chicago to Shanghai Pudong, which it has operated since 2006. Competition comes from United Airlines’ daily Chicago-Beijing flights, which were launched already back in 2001.

At the launch event for the first flight, which had an impressive 100% load factor, Theo Panagiotoulias, American Airlines’ VP Asia & Pacific, spoke:

“American Airlines is very pleased to launch the second Sino-US non-stop route. This is a new milestone for American Airlines. The launch of this new route, together with the existing Shanghai – Chicago route, will further strengthen the American Airlines route network in China, enabling more Chinese tourists to enjoy American Airlines’ industry-leading quality service and products. The opening of this route has received genuine support from CAAC. On behalf of American Airlines, I hereby express my sincere thanks.”

After resolving the slot issue, AA will now fly with the following schedule:

Fridays and Sundays: departing 20:30; arriving 23:00 (next day)
Tuesdays and Thursdays: departing 21:30; arriving 23:59 (next day)

Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays: departing 07:59; arriving 07:49 (same day)
Tuesdays: departing 06:59; arriving 06:49 (same day)


  1. Timmy says:

    From political view it make sense

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