Hainan Air announces 1st Beijing to Boston directs
For Warren McFarlan, professor emeritus at Harvard University, June 20 can’t come soon enough.
That’s when Hainan Airlines will officially start its direct service between Beijing and Boston, now the largest US market without any direct flights to China. Boston is the largest city in New England and the sister city of Hangzhou, China.
McFarlan, a guest lecturer at Tsinghua University, said Thursday at a luncheon celebrating the upcoming launch that he has made 81 trips to China in the last 14 years, all through US airports.
“Why am I so happy today? There are some places in this world that I genuinely hate. Number 1, Kennedy Airport. Number 2, O’Hare Airport. Number 3, Dallas Fort Worth. Number 4, Toronto. This is going to be an enormous route. And they even have it at a sensible time of day,” he said, referring to the 5pm departure time from Boston’s Logan Airport.
The airline will use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, with service Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Haikou-based Hainan Airlines is privately owned and the fourth largest airline in China in terms of fleet size.
Massachusetts is one of the biggest markets for Chinese tourists. Hainan Airlines expects to serve close to 5,000 travelers a month on the new route, according to a filing with the US Department of Transportation.
Chen Feng, chairman of HNA Group, the parent copmany of Hainan Airlines, at a launch event for the new direct flights between Boston and Beijing at the Harvard Club in Boston on Thursday.