Hainan Airlines starts flight service between Chengdu, Chicago

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A direct flight from Chengdu to Los Angeles is painted with a picture of Kung Fu Panda at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu. BAI GUIBIN / FOR CHINA DAILY 

A new nonstop passenger flight between the O'Hare International Airport of Chicago and Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan province starts from today.

This is the first nonstop scheduled passenger flight from the US Midwest to China's southwest hinterland.

Hainan Airlines offers the nonstop flight service with a 213-seat B787-8 aircraft twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The flight takes 16 hours and five minutes westbound and 14 hours and 50 minutes eastbound.

With the opening of the new air route, passengers flying from Chicago to Chengdu will have easier access to Chengdu's neighboring cities such as Guiyang and Kunming.

The Chicago-Chengdu air service is expected to bring $35 million in annual economic impact to the Chicago region. And it will benefit Chicago's growing global business and trade partnerships across China, where more than 150 Chicago-area companies have operations.

In late 2014, the city of Chicago signed Gateway Cities Agreement with eight Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu.

On July 15-23, 2019, World Business Chicago led a business mission to China to continue to strengthen economic ties and further implement the Gateway Cities Agreement. The mission stopped in Chengdu and Beijing, and met with Hainan Airlines leadership.

China has for many years remained one of the top trade partners for US Midwestern states, as well as an important source of investment.

In the first 11 months of 2018, Chinese tourists visiting Chicago increased by 2.1 percent over the same period of 2017, according to Choose Chicago statistics.

Hainan Airlines now operates 12 air routes between China and the United States. Besides such metropolitan cities as Beijing and Shanghai in China and New York, Los Angeles and Chicago in the United States, the company has extended its presence to China's Chengdu and Chongqing cities, and Seattle, Boston and San Jose in the United States.

Responsible editor: 陈书敏
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