Air China commenced flights between Shenzhen and Los Angeles on 7 December, a route that it will operate three times weekly on its 787-9s. The new route was celebrated with a press conference at the Chinese airport before boarding. Seen speaking at the first flight ceremony in Shenzhen is Chen Zhiyong, VP of Air China and CEO of Shenzhen Airlines.
An inaugural flight ceremony also took place in Beijing to toast the start of Air China’s operation from China’s busiest airport to Brisbane. Among those speaking at the event was Jan Adams, the Ambassador of Australia to China and Hou Xulun, Deputy GM of the China Aviation Group Corporation.
Brisbane Airport baked a cake to welcome Air China and its new service from Beijing. The Star Alliance member will operate the 8,393-kilometre route four times weekly on its A330-200s, with no other carrier serving the route.
- Air China commenced flights on two long-haul sectors this week, with one to Australia and the other to the US. The Star Alliance member launched its first transpacific route from Shenzhen (SZX) on 7 December, a 11,640-kilometre link to Los Angeles (LAX) that will operate three times weekly on its 787-9s. The new route means that Air China is now the second Chinese carrier after Xiamen Airlines to link the Chinese city to the US, with the latter carrier linking Shenzhen to Seattle-Tacoma. Air China already links Los Angeles with Beijing. On 11 December, Air China started a 8,393-kilometre link between Beijing (PEK) and Brisbane (BNE), a route that the carrier is scheduled to operate four times weekly on its A330-200s. Neither of Air China’s two routes that were inaugurated this week will face direct competition. When referring to statistics published by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Air China carried 1,485,091 passengers between China and the US in 2016, an increase of over 14% when compared to the 1,299,062 passengers it flew in 2015. In the Australian market, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) some 2,488,594 passengers travelled between China and Australia in 2016, with Air China carrying 364,982 (15%) of these travellers. In total Air China saw its passenger numbers to Australia grow by 14% in 2016, with the Star Alliance member having carried 320,626 passengers in 2015. See how Brisbane Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.