American Airlines, the world's largest airline company, will begin from early April this year to launch daily nonstop service to China, one of the world's fastest growing aviation markets.
The first flight, AA289, will depart Chicago O'Hare International Airport at 11:05 a.m. on April 2 and arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 2:15 p.m. on April 3. The return flight of this route, AA288, will depart Shanghai at 4:25 p.m on April 3 and arrive in Chicago at 5:00 p.m. on the same date.
In 2004, the governments of the United States and the People's Republic of China signed an expanded air services agreement that doubled the number of airlines that can fly between the two countries. American Airlines is one of two that have been authorized to fly to China since then and will become the fourth U.S. passenger carrier to fly to China.
Shanghai will be the 23rd international destination served by the American company from its Chicago hub. The new international service to the Asia Pacific region will complement American's seven routes between the United States and Asian cities.
"We have been anticipating the opportunity to participate in the growing China market for five years," said Athar Khan, managing director for Asia Pacific region of American Airlines.
Chicago will become a primary gateway to Asia for American Airlines. More than 300,000 companies are based in the Chicago area, including 34 Fortune 500 companies. They will benefit from nonstop service to one of China's largest business centers.
From Shanghai, American Airlines will offer convenient connections to several cities throughout China via its long-standing partnership with China Eastern Airlines, one of the largest carriers of China based in Shanghai.
American Airlines will put two Boeing 777s for the new daily nonstop service between Chicago and Shanghai. Crews on these flights will include flight attendants with appropriate language skills, and menus will feature specialized items for Chinese travelers.
(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2006)