NEWS RELEASE · 25th February 2010
BC Ministry of Transportation
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond joined officials from Air China Canada to confirm Air China will increase their Vancouver service by three new direct flights a week, for a total of 10 weekly direct flights between Beijing and Vancouver.
Air China Canada officials also announced the selection of the newly expanded Prince George Airport as Air China's alternate airport.
Bond, along with Air China Canada general manager Zhigang He and Air China Canada senior advisor David Solloway, were joined by Vancouver Airport Authority president and CEO Larry Berg and Prince George Airport Authority marketing and business development director Todd Doherty.
"This is great news for British Columbia and is a direct result from the work undertaken at the 2009 International Open Skies Summit in September," said Bond. "In addition to the increased Air China service to Vancouver, Prince George being chosen as Air China's alternate airport is a huge win for northern B.C."
Air China, China's national airline and official flag carrier, will add three more flights a week in addition to its daily non-stop flights from Vancouver to Beijing. The new flights will begin in June 2010 arriving in Vancouver on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Flights to Beijing will depart Vancouver in the early morning on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, using Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Prince George Airport is the chosen alternate airport should flights need to be diverted from Vancouver International Airport.
"Air China has long wanted to expand its service from Vancouver to Beijing and we believe this opportunity will benefit business interests in both our countries," said He. "From our hub in Beijing, travelers can connect to 123 destinations in 28 countries and regions throughout the world."
"The move to open up more flights to Air China is one more way for British Columbia to market itself to the world and promote both business and leisure travel," said Berg.
"Air China's commitment to British Columbia goes back decades, and through this announcement they have again demonstrated their belief in the product we are offering today and in our vision for our airport and for our region for the future," said Doherty. "We will continue building our product and promoting our city and region as a transportation hub connecting North America to the Asia Pacific."