CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - June 30, 2016) - The Calgary Airport Authority and Hainan Airlines today celebrated the start of new non-stop scheduled passenger service connecting Calgary International Airport (YYC) with Beijing. The new route signifies an important milestone for the airport, city and the province as it provides the first direct air connection from Alberta to China.
"This new service -- the result of close collaboration involving a dedicated team of airport, tourism and government partners over many years -- opens our region up to a huge global market," said Stephan Poirier, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for The Calgary Airport Authority. "This new non-stop service not only provides travellers here with direct service from Calgary to China, but represents a significant amount of tourism revenue and other economic benefits to the province of Alberta."
The new route solidifies YYC's position as a major transportation hub, and highlights the role Calgary International Airport plays in diversifying Alberta's economy. When fully implemented, the new service connecting Calgary and Beijing is expected to create the equivalent of more than 625 full-time jobs, $31 million in wages, and generate $76.24 million in gross domestic product contributions each year.
Airport and tourism partners also joined the celebration, ensuring inbound passengers from China receive the warm welcome that travellers to Calgary are so familiar with and have a great passenger experience.
"We know the first impression of Calgary for arriving travellers comes from right here at the airport," added Stephan Poirier. "The entire airport community has been working together to ensure our visitors from China have a great experience."
Hainan Airlines Vice President Mr. Hou Wei said, "We are delighted to announce our latest non-stop flight from Calgary to Beijing. Calgary is the second city in Canada that Hainan Airlines will serve, having launched Toronto to Beijing in 2010. This route will further enhance cross cultural and economic exchanges between China and Canada, and will provide excellent service for our valued passengers."
As a new member to the airport and Alberta community, Hainan Airlines recently made a generous donation of $37,500 to the Fort McMurray Canadian Red Cross Relief Fund. "When we enter new markets, we believe it is important to connect with the community we are serving, and in light of the recent tragedy that took place in Fort McMurray, we thought this would be the most important place to give back to Albertans."
Hainan Airlines will operate three days a week from Calgary to Beijing Capital Airport. Flights will depart Calgary at 1505 local time and arrive at 1710 local time the next day. Return flights depart Beijing at 1600 local time and arrive at Calgary at 1305 local time the same day.
ABOUT HAINAN AIRLINES
Hainan Airlines was founded in 1993 and has transformed from a Chinese local airline into a large multinational group with businesses covering the aviation, industrial, financial, tourism and logistics sectors as well as a number of world-class brands. In July 2015, HNA group made the list of the Fortune 500 companies for the first time. As a subsidiary of HNA Group, Hainan Airlines has been honoured as a SKYTRAX 5-Star Airline for five years in a row. In addition, the airline has maintained an excellent safety record for 23 years since its inception and is ranked among the world's top 10 safest airlines. In recent years, Hainan Airlines has been focused on expanding its international routes; currently there are nine direct flights to North American cities such as Toronto, Boston, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago, Los Angeles and Calgary.
ABOUT THE CALGARY AIRPORT AUTHORITY
The Calgary Airport Authority is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the Regional Airports Authorities Act of Alberta. The Calgary Airport Authority is responsible for the management, operation and development of Calgary International (YYC) and Springbank (YBW) Airports. YYC is an important economic engine for the city, region and province, welcoming 15.48 million passengers in 2015, supporting more than 48,000 jobs and generating more than $8 billion per annum in economic activity.