Hainan Airlines inaugurates direct flight between Beijing and Toronto Pearson
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Canada, Hainan Airlines, the largest independently-owned carrier in China, launched the first direct flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Beijing today.
The new service is Hainan’s first non-stop route linking China and Canada and will see three weekly flights depart from Pearson at 4:10 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Hainan president Yingming Wang hopes the initiative, the second of its kind in North America, along with Seattle, will strengthen the relationship between Canada and China and boost both economies through business and tourism.
"We know that Toronto and Beijing are both great cities in the world," he said. "We will try our very best to set up this bridge between China and Canada."
Wang was just one of hundreds of dignitaries and members of the media who attended a press conference before Hainan’s first departure from Pearson. Total flying time will be 13 hours and 40 minutes enroute to Toronto and 14 hours 15 minutes enroute to Beijing.
Lloyd McCoomb, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, was excited to welcome the Chinese carrier to Canada.
"This provides many new opportunities for both cities," he said. "We’ve worked very hard with Hainan to ensure that today’s first operation runs smoothly and we look forward to all operations in the future."
Additional speeches were made by mayor Hazel McCallion and Liu Yongfeng, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China. Hainan Airlines began operations in 1993 and now has nearly 500 domestic and international routes to more than 90 cities.
SOURCE: mississauga
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