Attending the celebratory ribbon-cutting service on 2 January (a day after the first flight operated) are: Shenzhen Airlines Captain of inaugural flight; Hideki Hayashida, SVP, Aviation Sales & Marketing, Narita International Airport Corporation; Zhang Yu, Director, Marketing & Sales Committee, Shenzhen Airlines; Shigeo Kimura, Administrator Narita International Airport, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and Luo Yong, GM of Japan, Air China.
- Shenzhen Airlines has launched its second route to Japan from its home base of Shenzhen (SZX). On 1 January the Star Alliance carrier, in which Air China has a 51% stake, began daily flights to Tokyo Narita (NRT). Fellow Star Alliance member All Nippon Airways codeshares on the service. The 2,047-kilometre route will be flown by the airline’s 737-800s and faces no direct competition, though China Southern Airlines operates twice-weekly flights to Ibaraki Airport, located around 85 kilometres from Tokyo. Shenzhen Airlines now operates non-stop to a total of 58 destinations from Shenzhen, of which 51 are in China. Tokyo Narita joins Bangkok, Osaka Kansai, Phuket, Seoul Incheon, Singapore and Taipei Taoyuan on the airline’s international network from its home base. On 23 December Shenzhen Airlines also began a new service linking Nantong (NTG) with Taipei Taoyuan (TPE). Initially the 777-kilometre route will be served with just a weekly flight on Wednesdays, but according to OAG Schedules Analyser, frequency increases to thrice-weekly by the beginning of February. This new route will be served by the airline’s A320 fleet and faces no competition.