Boston-Beijing Non-stop Flights a Reality
Hainan Airlines Starts Five-Star Service with Boeing 787 Dreamliners
BOSTON – Beijing and the economic opportunity that China offers Massachusetts business are now a nonstop flight away from Boston Logan International Airport.
Hainan Airlines Flight 481 touched down at Logan this afternoon after departing Beijing. Flight 482 departed Boston later in the day, bound for Beijing, with a scheduled arrival of 7 p.m. tomorrow, local time.
The new, 6,737-mile-long route, which flies over the North Pole, is being introduced to meet the strong demand for business travel, as well as growing demand for leisure trips, between Boston, a center of higher education, health care, finance and the biotechnology industries and Beijing, the capital city in China and the world’s second largest economy. Last year, about 158,000 passengers traveled between Boston and Beijing, plus the 29 China cities accessed via Hainan’s Beijing hub, representing $139 million annual revenue.
The route will bolster Massachusetts as a major tourist destination attracting more than 21 million visitors a year. Chinese visitors are the fastest-growing segment of US tourism. Beijing represents Logan’s 11th nonstop international destination opened up since 2007, when Gov. Patrick took office.
“Lasting growth in the 21st century global economy will come from our competitiveness in global markets,” said Governor Patrick. “Hainan’s new flight will better serve our international passengers and build upon our growth strategy to open up Massachusetts to new markets to ensure that we remain competitive for many years to come.”
Massport and the Patrick Administration have been meeting with Hainan since 2007, when the Governor traveled to Beijing. Most recently, Gov. Patrick met with Hainan executives in his office in September of last year.
“We have had our sights on Boston for a long time, and we are thrilled to finally be able to bring Hainan Airlines’ famous five-star service to New England. The new flight provides the fastest way to get to Beijing, the capital of China,” said Xie Haoming, President of Hainan Airlines, upon arrival on the first flight. “The new flight saves about three hours off of existing routings.”
President Xie is leading a delegation of company executives, Chinese media and business people who will engage in meetings with local business leaders and learn about the Boston marketplace. “Business, leisure and educational travel and trade between the United States and China has been growing dramatically. This wonderful new link will stimulate this growth via the important Boston gateway, our first on the East Coast,” he said.
“Boston is the 6th largest airline passenger market in the US to China and was the largest without nonstop service; this new route will help the regional economy, boost tourism and provide a convenient connection for tens of thousands of visitors,’’ said Richard A. Davey, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Chairman of the Massport board.
“As Massport is one of the leading economic engines of the region, having non-stop service to China is critical for growing jobs and the regional economy as well as offering nonstop options for leisure travelers,’’ said Thomas P. Glynn, Massport’s CEO. “The economics and the range of a new generation of aircraft, like the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, make new nonstop routes from Boston to markets like Beijing possible.’’
Massport’s Conley Container Terminal has had direct water service between Boston and China for more than a decade, helping grow the value of trade between Massachusetts and China.
The Hainan Dreamliner carries 213 passengers, 36 in business class and 177 in economy. Cargo service is also offered. The jetliner features larger windows and has a higher cabin humidity than other airliners, which helps moderate jetlag so passengers arrive refreshed. Every seat has an individual power outlet and USB port, and a state of the art entertainment system offers over 100 movies, audio selections and games on demand.
Hainan is mainland China’s only certified Skytrax® five-star airline, and the first one to fly from Boston Logan. The airline has won many awards for service, including being voted “Best Airline in China” by Premier Traveler Magazine and Global Traveler magazine multiple times.
Hainan Airlines will operate the flights year round every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and due to peak demand, will increase frequency to daily from July 18 through the end of August. With its international hub at Beijing,Hainanoffers connections to cities throughout China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xi’an and Haikou.
Flight 481 departs Beijing at 1:50 p.m. local time and is scheduled to arrive at Logan Airport at 3:10 p.m. Return flight 482 will depart Logan at 5:10 p.m. with scheduled arrival at 6:50 p.m. the following day in Beijing. During daily service this summer, the Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday flights will arrive in and depart from Boston 30 minutes later.
Starting July 1, Hainan Airlines will provide complimentary private limousine service for business class passengers within a 30 mile radius of Logan Airport. Hainan Airlines already provides complimentary limo service in Beijing for long haul business class travelers.
Travelers may stopover in Beijing in either direction and connect with numerous additional Chinese cities across the Hainan network such as Chengdu or Dalian. Recent changes to visa regulations permit US citizens to stay in Beijing for as long as 72 hours visa-free when traveling to international points beyond China, enabling online onward travel to other key destinations. Those making connections to other Chinese destinations can take advantage of the new business class lounge in Terminal 1, or the exclusive transit lounge open to economy class passengers.
The new Boston flight will complement the carrier’s existing North American service to Beijing from Seattle, Chicago and Toronto. Hainan Airlines flights can be booked through all travel agents, travel websites as well as online at hainanairlines.com or through its call center at 1-888-688-8813. The airline has opened a local office at 31 St. James Avenue in Boston.
Founded in 1993, Hainan Airlines has a fleet of over 130 Boeing and Airbus aircraft with routes throughout China stretching to Europe, Africa, Russia, Southeast Asia and North America. The winner of many awards for safety, service and even for its fine wines, Hainan Airlines is a member of the HNA Group.
Boston Logan, 15 minutes from the intersection of Route 128 and I-90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 76 domestic and 36 international destinations and in 2013 handled 30.2 million passengers. Boston Logan is served by two public transit lines and is the Air Line Pilot Association’s Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $8 billion in total economic impact each year.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities. For more information please visit massport.com.