(Hainan Airlines' CTU-LAX International Route Ceremony)

From La to L.A., from the "land of plenty" to the "City of Angels", the non-stop flight between China's southwestern Chengdu city and Los Angeles, operated by Hainan airlines, was inaugurated on Wednesday at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CSIA).

It marks the inaugural inter-continental flight in 2017 both for Hainan Airlines and CSIA, Sun Jianfeng, President of Hainan Airlines, said at the ceremony.

(Hainan Airlines' CTU-LAX International Route Ceremony)

The maiden flight with Kong-Fu-panda-painted Boeing 787 dreamliner left the capital of Sichuan at 9:15 p.m. (Beijing time) and arrived in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. (local time).

The return flight will take off from Los Angeles at 00:45 a.m. (local time) every Monday and Thursday, and land in Chengdu at 6:40 a.m. (Beijing time) the following day.

The flight is scheduled twice a week.

Raymond F. Greene, U.S. Consul General in Chengdu, told NBD that the direct flight is a great opportunity for Chengdu and Los Angeles. "I'm so happy to see so much more interchanges between state of Califonia and Sichuan, I also very happy that I think this is just reflective of the successful bilateral joint efforts in term of tourism between the two countries".

The CTU-LAX route is the second non-stop service between Chengdu and the United States, following United Airlines' flight between Chengdu and San Francisco in 2014.

"I know the United Airlines, it was 2014, started the first route between San Francisco and Chengdu, it has been very successful, so I'm sure Hainan Airlines' Los Angeles flight will be successful. We are hoping to see more Americans come here to Chengdu, and more people from Sichuan to California", the Mr. Greene added.

The U.S. Consul General is bullish not only on the cooperation the direct flight offers in tourism, education and business, but also in the film industry.

"That's a good chance for people to go to Los Angeles, experience the La La Land scene, but also for Americans to come and see where Kung Fu Panda shot. I think the cooperation between U.S. and Chinese film industries is getting deeper and deeper. Understanding of the nature beauty were vital in producing films in both directions, this is a gorgeous area of south part of China, I hope Hollywood will explore more", he said.

(An air hostess of Hainan Airlines at the Ceremony)

Hainan airlines will also lauch a new direct flight from Chongqing to Los Angeles. These new routes complement Hainan's existing service from LAX to Changsha launched in early 2016, and will give Hainan a total of three routes between Los Angeles and Mainland China.  

Sichuan is known worldwide for its popular spicy food and as the natural habitat of the widely loved panda. Chongqing is one of China's five national cities, with a population of 30 million and an established manufacturing and transportation hub.

Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport was the nation's fourth-busiest in 2016, with passenger throughput amounted to 46.04 million, making it an important gateway to western China.


Email: lijia@nbd.com.cn

Editor: Li Jia