Xiamen, Seattle get direct link
Updated: 2016-09-27 10:03
By LINDA DENG in Seattle(chinadailly.com.cn)
Xiamen Airlines launched Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service on Sept 26th, creating an air bridge connecting two of China's major special economic zones with an economic heavyweight on the US West Coast.
Xiamen Airlines Chairman Che Shanglun (left) gives the Xiamen Airlines Model Plane as a gift to Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick at the ceremony celebrating the launch of Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service by the airlines at the SeaTac Airport arrival hall Wednesday morning. Linda Deng/ China Daily
The ceremony to welcome the inaugural flight to Seattle was hosted at SeaTac Airport arrival hall Wednesday morning. Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman and Xiamen Chairman Che Shanglun took part in the ribbon cutting and toast to Xiamen by the Boeing Company.
Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick Economic and Commercial Counsellor from Consulate General of China in San Francisco Yang Yihang and other guests attended.
This is not only the first long haul route originating in Xiamen with an end point in the United States, but also the first direct international service between Shenzhen and the US.
The service will be handled by a Xiamen Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with three flights per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Xiamen Airlines chairman and general manager Che Shanglun said, "The launch of the Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service is an important reflection of the results of the meeting between Chinese and American leaders in 2015. On the heels of these events, a Fuzhou-New York and a Xiamen-LA service will also be initiated, making air travel, and, by consequence, exchanges between the two countries much easier."
The Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service is the sixth long-haul and first American route that Xiamen Airlines has launched. Existing services include Xiamen-Amsterdam, Fuzhou-Sydney, Xiamen-Sydney, Xiamen-Melbourne and Xiamen-Vancouver routes.
The newly opened Seattle service is Xiamen Airlines' first long-haul route with a stop at a city outside of Fujian province.
To complete the build out of a network that extends beyond Seattle, Xiamen Airlines has signed a partnership agreement with Alaska Airlines that enables passengers traveling to Seattle via Xiamen Airlines to fly onward to 61 major and secondary destinations across the US, Canada and Mexico.
The launch of the route marks the first time the Xiamen Airlines fleet has had a chance to visit the home of their "birth", as Seattle, where Boeing is located, is where each member of the 165-strong fleet of aircraft was manufactured and first saw the light of day. As a loyal client of Boeing, Xiamen Airlines operates the largest all-Boeing aircraft fleet in China.
Over the past three decades, Xiamen Airlines has taken delivery of hundreds of brand new Boeing airliners and, due to the cost advantage of an all-Boeing fleet, Xiamen Airlines has continuously shown a profit for 29 years, the longest period of reporting uninterrupted profits in Chinese civil aviation history.