Xi­a­men, Seat­tle get di­rect link

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By LINDA DENG in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The newly opened Seat­tle ser­vice is Xi­a­men Air­lines’ first long-haul route with a stop at a city out­side of Fu­jian province.

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.

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.

LINDA DENG / CHINA DAILY

Xi­a­men Air­lines Chair­man Che Shanglun (left) gives Port of Seat­tle CEO Ted Fick the gift of a Xi­a­men Air­lines model plane at the cer­e­mony cel­e­brat­ing the launch of Xi­a­men-Shen­zhenSeat­tle ser­vice by the air­lines, at the SeaTac Air­port on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

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