Hainan Airlines launches Dreamliner on Chicago-Beijing route
Hainan Airlines started its Boeing 787 Dreamliner non-stop service between Beijing and Chicago O'Hare Wednesday, replacing the Airbus A340-600 aircraft previously used on the route, which commenced on Sept 3 and is expected to increase from two to four flights weekly by the end of the year.
Hainan Airlines started direct service between Chicago O'Hare and Beijing to meet strong demand for business travel, as well as growing demand for leisure trips. It also complemented Hainan's established service between the Chinese capital and Toronto and Seattle.
At a ceremony to launch the new aircraft, Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino expressed her enthusiasm over the new craft. "This is the first transpacific route operated with a Boeing 787 from O'Hare," she said.
"Chicago is the third-largest metropolitan area in the US, so the market is very important to us," said Pubin Liang, general manager of Hainan Airlines North America. "The 787 addition to our fleet is another step toward creating an ideal flying experience for our passengers through advanced aviation technology and design."
Hainan Airlines brought its first 787 Dreamliner to China in July. In the past 20 years, Hainan has added more than 100 Boeing airplanes to its fleet, making it one of Boeing's most important partners in China.
With the 787 delivery, Hainan became the second Chinese airline with a Dreamliner as part of its fleet.
According to Wei Hou, vice-president of Hainan Airlines, 787s will also be used on the carrier's Seattle and Toronto routes, and other new destinations as the fleet grows.
Hainan is planning a new service between Beijing and Boston for next year.
The cabin of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, custom designed for Hainan Airlines, has bright red — the symbolic color of the China and its people — as the dominant color.
The cabin has 213 seats, the lowest number among all the 787 Dreamliners delivered into China. The 36-seat business class cabin has full flat-bed seats and a 95-inch space separating each seat.
The 177-seat, 3-3-3 economy class cabin layout features individual 15-inch in-flight entertainment screens and easy access to power supply ports, as well as new services that enable passengers to send messages while in flight.
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