Air China’s new B747-8 lands

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By HU HAIDAN in New York haidanhu12@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Air China’s new Boe­ing 7478 air­craft made its in­ter­na­tional de­but on the Bei­jingNew York route, ar­riv­ing at JFK on Wed­nes­day.

The 13-hour flight will run once a day be­tween Beijing and New York.

At the in-cabin re­cep­tion, Zhou Yue­long, gen­eral man­ager of Air China New York, spoke with guests and the me­dia.

“We are pleased that our Beijing head­quar­ters has cho­sen New York for the in­ter­na­tional launch of the B747-8,” Zhou said.

“The B747-8 is the first air­craft in Air China’s fleet with a four-cabin con­fig­u­ra­tion,” he ex­plained. “This is sig­nif­i­cant as this pro­vides trav­el­ers from New York and other neigh­bor­ing ci­ties to China and beyond with more op­tions.”

Liu Yi, coun­selor of the eco­nomic and com­mer­cial of­fice of China’s Con­sulate Gen­eral of China in New York, con­grat­u­lated Air China on be­half of Zhang Qiyue, con­sul gen­eral of China in New York.

In a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter, Zhang wrote: “As one of the big­gest air­line com­pa­nies in China, Air China makes mo­men­tous ef­forts in con­nect­ing China and US eco­nomic trade and cul­ture com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

Xue Yap­ing, di­rec­tor of the China Na­tional Tourist Of­fice (CNTO) in New York, said the ex­ten­sion of tourist visas be­tween the US and China from one year to 10 years will pro­vide a huge boost to the travel in­dus­tries of both coun­tries.

“We trea­sure ev­ery im­prove­ment in travel and trans­porta­tion,” Xue said.

Even though the China Na­tional Tourist Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s an­nual re­port for 2014 hasn’t been re­leased yet, Xue said the ex­pected num­ber of Chi­nese trav­el­ers to the US is around 2.3 mil­lion, up more than 25 per­cent over the 1.8 mil­lion Chi­nese trav­el­ers who vis­ited the US in 2013.

Mike Mo­ran, gen­eral man­ager at JFK In­ter­na­tional Air­port, wel­comed Air China’s new flight. He said it was the first sched­uled flight of a Boe­ing 747-8 at JFK.

“Air China as an in­no­va­tor and as an in­dus­try leader is al­ways iden­ti­fy­ing new ways to ad­dress cus­tomers’ needs,” Mo­ran said. “This ef­fi­cient and friendly air­craft of­fer­ing a four-class cabin fig­u­ra­tion, pas­sen­ger op­tions and many other fea­tures truly means a lot for pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence.”

HU HAIDAN / CHINA DAILY

Air China’s Boe­ing 747-8 air­craft de­buts in­ter­na­tion­ally on the Beijing-New York route on Wed­nes­day in New York. Zhou Yue­long (fourth from left), gen­eral man­ager of Air China New York; Liu Yi (third from left), coun­selor of China’s Con­sulate Gen­eral of China in New York; Xue Yap­ing (sec­ond from left), di­rec­tor of China Na­tional Tourist Of­fice in New York; Mike Mo­ran (fourth from right), gen­eral man­ager at JFK In­ter­na­tional Air­port; Liu Yong­bing (third from right), cap­tain of the 747-8; John Selden (sec­ond from right), deputy gen­eral man­ager at JFK, and staff mem­bers from Air China dis­play the con­grat­u­la­tion banner in front of the B747-8 at the air­port.

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