China Eastern improves service

Updated: 2013-07-01 12:38

By Liu Lian in New York (China Daily)

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 China Eastern improves service

Lu Ping (second from left), general manager of China Eastern Airlines-New York, and employees of the Chinese carrier take a photo after announcing to use Boeing 777 on its Shanghai-New York route Liu Lian / China Daily

Starting in 2014, China Eastern Airlines will introduce new generation Boeing 777-300ERs to its round-trip New York-Shanghai route. The airline also plans to add more routes to the network in order to expand its capacity to meet the growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

The airline's New York office hosted its annual gala party on a yacht charter The Atlantis last Thursday to toast its new aircraft, new routes, new services and new uniforms. More than 120 guests attended the ceremony, including Liu Yi, commercial counselor of Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York; Xu Yaping, director of the New York China National Tourist Office; Markly Wilson, director of international marketing for New York State Tourism; and Tiru Irani, chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association's New York Chapter.

Lu Ping, general manager of China Eastern Airlines-New York, delivered welcoming remarks, thanking everyone for their support in the office's seven years of operating success. In 2012, China Eastern served 73 million travelers and ranked among the world's top five airlines in terms of passenger transportation volume. The airline expects to carry 80 million passengers this year, said Lu.

According to the latest forecasts from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Asia-Pacific region is among the top three areas that will see the strongest passenger growth, led by routes within or connected to China, which are expected to account for 193 million of the 831 million passengers carried by airlines in 2016 (34 million traveling internationally).

China Eastern's new Boeing 777-300ERs will be introduced to the New York-Shanghai route next year in order to meet the region's market growth. The new carriers are equipped with private stand-alone first class cabins that include a cloakroom and double bed.

The airline announced a new route between Shanghai and Manila this fall, adding that passengers travelling from New York to Shanghai will be able to catch a same-day connection to Manila beginning in October.

In conjunction with China's new 72-hour visa-free policy for transit travelers, China Eastern introduced a series of new ground services including hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, dining and shopping, in the hopes of providing passengers a well-rounded experience in Shanghai, said Lu.

Flight attendants modeled China Eastern's new flight crew uniforms at the event, which were designed by French couture house Christian Lacroix. The combined inspirations from two of the world's fashion capitals, Paris and Shanghai, represent the airline's increasing global reach.

"China-US trade relations have never been this close," said Liu Yi, "there were 1.8 million Chinese tourists travelling to the US in 2012, and more than 10,000 people travel by air between the US and China every day. That number will certainly continue to grow."

Wilson praised China Eastern's New York office for its remarkable efforts and contribution to the state's tourism industry and economy.

(China Daily USA 07/01/2013 page2)