China Eastern Airlines’ new service from Kunming via Qingdao arrived in San Francisco on 29 September. The SkyTeam carrier already serves SFO from Shanghai Pudong with non-stop flights.
On 25 September Cebu Airport celebrated the launch of China Eastern’s new four times weekly service from Chengdu. Preparing to cut the panda-themed cake were: Ms. Aines Librodo, Airline Marketing and Tourism Development Head, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation; Mr. Allan Rillera, Assistant GM / Head of Sales, China Eastern Airlines; pilot of inaugural flight; and Ms Chen Li Wei, Country Manager, China Eastern Airlines.
- China Eastern Airlines has expanded its presence in the US with the launch of a new service to San Francisco (SFO). The new thrice-weekly service was launched on 29 September, originating in Kunming (KMG) and stopping off in Qingdao (TAO). The SkyTeam carrier will use an A330-200 on the route which faces no direct competition. China Eastern already serves San Francisco from Shanghai Pudong and now operates a total of seven US routes involving three Chinese airports and five in the US. In terms of market share the leading carriers in the US-China market are: Air China (22%), United Airlines (21%), China Eastern (17%), China Southern Airlines (13%) and Hainan Airlines (9%). In terms of alliances, Star Alliance has 43%, SkyTeam 40% and oneworld just 8%. Chinese carriers account for 62% of seat capacity. For San Francisco, Qingdao becomes the eighth Chinese airport to be served with non-stop flights following Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Wuhan and Xi’an. Among the 13 US airports with non-stop flights to China, San Francisco ranks second for weekly flight with 51, beaten only by Los Angeles with 72, but significantly ahead of Chicago O’Hare (39) and New York JFK (38). Another new routes launched by the carrier recently was a four times weekly service between Chengdu (CTU) and Cebu (CEB) in the Philippines. The 3,058-kilometre was started on 25 September using the carrier’s A319s and faces no direct competition.