An Airbus 340 of China's Hainan Airlines arrived at O' Hare International Airport in Chicago on Tuesday, marking its maiden flight between Beijing of China and Chicago of the United States.

At the inaugural ceremony, Chinese Consul General in Chicago Zhao Weiping said the opening of the air service will be "an important bridge linking China and the U.S. Midwest," and that "it will bring more Chinese tourists, students, and entrepreneurs to Chicago and the U.S. Midwest, as well as carry more Americans to China."

Hainan Airlines, the only certified Skytrax five-star airline on the Chinese mainland, is the first Chinese carrier to offer nonstop flight from the Chinese mainland to Chicago.

Hou Wei, vice president of Hainan Airlines, said the company will offer nonstop service between Beijing and Chicago twice a week on Sundays and Tuesdays at the initial stage.

But starting from December, the nonstop service will be increased to four times a week, and Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be introduced to fly the route, Hou said.

"We are proud that Chicago is the first Midwest destination for Hainan Airlines and the second in the U.S.," said Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino. "The new international air service will further Chicago's connectivity to China and increase tourists to Chicago. It has enormous benefits for our economy."

Chicago is the third gateway of Hainan Airlines in North America, after Seattle in the United States and Toronto in Canada.

Founded in 1993, Hainan Airlines is now the fourth largest airline in China in terms of fleet size. It runs nearly 500 domestic and overseas flight routes reaching some 90 cities in Asia, Europe, America and Africa.


SOURCE: peopledaily


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