China’s fast-expanding carrier Xiamen Airlines has reached yet another milestone with the launch of its direct flights to the United States. Xiamen Airlines, which is a subsidiary of state-owned China Southern Airlines, recently launched its direct flights from Seattle to Shenzen starting from September 26, 2016.
The launch of new service has marked two milestones for Xiamen Airlines in providing seamless air connectivity between the United States and China. This is the airline’s first ever direct flights services to the U.S., and also the first route to the U.S. from Shenzen. While launching its inaugural service, the airline has also indicated that it will continue to expand its network in the United States in future as well.
Xiamen Airlines, which is also a member of leading global airline alliance SkyTeam, said that it would be operating the new Shenzen-Seattle route thrice weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The flights on the route will be served with the help of a Boeing 787-8 aircraft configured with three travel classes – 4 seats in first class, 28 seats in business class and 236 seats in economy class. This will also be the airline’s sixth long-haul route. The airline is currently offering flights from Xiamen to Vancouver, Melbourne, Sydney and Amsterdam, and also from Sydney to Fuzhou.
A spokesperson of Xiamen Airlines said that the young airline currently owns 140 Boeing aircrafts in its fleet, and an order for 30 additional Boeing aircrafts have already been placed with the world’s leading aircraft maker. Moreover, the airline is also planning a second service to the United States next year with the launch of flights between Chinese city Fuzhou and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport effective from February 15, 2017.
Media reports recently quoting a study said that the annual arrivals from China to the United States is going to be more than double, increasing to more than 6.5 million in 2020 from 2.4 million in 2015. The study said that more than 23 million Chinese would be visiting the United States during that duration.