Hainan ex­pands US pres­ence to Bos­ton

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK FREIFELDER in New York jack­freifelder@ chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Hainan Air­lines, China’s fourth-largest car­rier, be­gins Bei­jing-to-Bos­ton non­stop ser­vice on Fri­day, its third des­ti­na­tion in the United States.

The air­line will use Boe­ing’s 787 Dream­liner for the new four-day ser­vice on Mon­day, Wed­nes­day, Fri­day and Satur­day, with the ex­pected travel time be­tween the two cities about 13 hours, ac­cord­ing to Hainan Air­lines.

Hainan Air­lines launched its first route to the US —Bei­jing-Seat­tle — in 2008. The Haikou, Hainan province­based air­liner also op­er­ates flights from Bei­jing to Toronto and Chicago.

The launch of Hainan’s ser­vice to Bos­ton’s Lo­gan In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Fri­day also means that the city will no longer be the largest US air­line pas­sen­ger mar­ket with­out a non­stop trip to China. Bos­ton, the largest city in New Eng­land, is the sis­ter city of Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

Wang Ying­ming, ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent of HNA Group Co, the par­ent com­pany of Hainan Air­lines, said last week that in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­gers make up about 10 per­cent of the Hainan’s to­tal fares.

“Our long-term plan is eight des­ti­na­tions [in North Amer­ica],” Wang said in an in­ter­view with China Daily. He also said Hainan is or­der­ing more Boe­ing 787s to meet the “huge de­mand” in the North Amer­i­can mar­ket.

Hainan ex­pects to serve close to 5,000 trav­el­ers a month on the new route, ac­cord­ing to a fil­ing with the US Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment.

Mas­sachusetts is home to more than 40 col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties with thou­sands of Asian and Chi­nese stu­dents, es­pe­cially in Bos­ton.

The state also is one of the big­gest mar­kets for Chi­nese tourists, with close to 150,000 trav­el­ers vis­it­ing in 2012, ac­cord­ing to the Mas­sachusetts Of­fice of Travel and Tourism.

Michael DiCarlo, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of At­tract China LLC, told Bos­ton Busi­ness Jour­nal in March that he pre­dicts the num­ber will ex­ceed 250,000 this year be­cause of the Hainan flights.

“By 2020, there will be more Chi­nese trav­el­ers to Bos­ton than ac­tual Bos­to­ni­ans liv­ing here,” said DiCarlo, whose firm pro­motes US businesses, in­clud­ing nearly 70 in the Bos­ton area, to Chi­nese trav­el­ers.

In a June 15 story in the Bos­ton Globe, Chen Feng, chair­man of the par­ent com­pany of Hainan Air­lines, said he founded the air­line com­pany

Our‘

long-term plan is eight des­ti­na­tions [in North Amer­ica].” WANG YING­MING EX­EC­U­TIVE PRES­I­DENT OF HNA GROUP CO

in 1993 and even served drinks on the in­au­gu­ral flight.

Chen, who taught him­self English and earned a man­age­ment di­ploma from the Har­vard Busi­ness School in 2004, said: “We wanted to es­tab­lish Hainan Air­lines, to dis­tin­guish our­selves from ev­ery­one else as a fully ser­vice-ori­ented com­pany, start­ing with my­self. I pushed the cart serv­ing the pas­sen­gers to set a stan­dard and set a dif­fer­ence.”

Hainan’s launch is the fifth new di­rect flight trip be­tween the US and China this month. The other car­ri­ers with new flights in­clude Air China (Bei­jing-Wash­ing­ton), United Air­lines (Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince-San Fran­cisco), Delta Air­lines (Seat­tle-Hong Kong) and Amer­i­can Air­lines (Shang­hai-Dal­las). On Aug 6, China South­ern Air­lines Co Ltd will launch a flight from Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince to New York.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Hainan Air­lines, which be­gan fly­ing Boe­ing 787 Dream­lin­ers last year, is the first Chi­nese air­line to launch ser­vice with the air­craft be­tween the US and China.

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