No More Slow Boats to China
Airlines Add Capacity, Routes, New Planes
June was a busy month for China watchers. Four airlines began a total of five new flights between the U.S. and China, dramatically increasing the number of available seats as well as expanding travelers’ options.
On June 9, United inaugurated thrice-weekly service linking San Francisco and Chengdu. The new route marked the first ever non-stop between North America and Chengdu, China’s fourth-largest city. Two days later, American Airlines started non-stop flights linking Dallas to both Hong Kong and Shanghai. American’s flight to Hong Kong, at 8,168 miles (13,144 kilometers or 7.097 nautical miles) is currently the eighth longest flight by any airline in terms of distance and, at 16 hours and 20 minutes, the seventh longest in terms of duration.
Air China started new, non-stop service between Beijing and Washington Dulles International Airport on June 10.
On June 11, Delta Air Lines started its Seattle-Hong Kong service as it bulks up its Seattle hub as a gateway to Asia. Hainan, a Chinese carrier, began flights linking Boston with Beijing on June 20. Hainan’s non-stops are currently flying four days a week and will operate daily for most of the summer.
The Boston flights are the first time that non-stop service became available between the two cities, and are also the first non-stops between New England and Mainland China.
Earlier this year, Hawaiian, on April 16 and Air China, on January 21, began service linking Beijing with Honolulu.
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