SOURCE: The Calgary Airport Authority

The Calgary Airport Authority

February 05, 2016 12:30 ET

New Non-Stop YYC - Beijing Flights to Begin in June 2016

Hainan Airlines Service Provides Access to New Market for Business and Tourism

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - February 05, 2016) - The Calgary Airport Authority and Hainan Airlines today announced new non-stop scheduled passenger service connecting Calgary International Airport (YYC) with Beijing, China beginning June 30, 2016.

"This is outstanding news for YYC and Hainan Airlines but also for our entire province," said Stephan Poirier, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for The Calgary Airport Authority. "This new non-stop service to China will give our region's business and tourism sectors access to an important world market and bring significant and far-reaching economic benefits to Alberta."

Hainan Airlines also sees tremendous opportunities being provided via this new service.

"We are delighted to announce our latest direct flight from Calgary to Beijing. Calgary is the second city in Canada that we operate non-stop flights to, after the launch of Beijing-Toronto back in 2010. This route will further enhance cross-cultural and economic exchanges between China and Canada, and provide excellent services for our valued passengers," said Mr. Hou Wei, VP of Hainan Airlines.

The announcement, Poirier said, solidifies YYC's position as a major hub, and highlights the role Calgary International Airport plays in supporting the regional economy. When fully implemented, the new service connecting Calgary and Beijing is expected to create the equivalent of more than 625 full-time jobs and $31 million in wages, and generate $76.24 million in gross domestic product contributions each year.

Poirier also highlighted that, while YYC is justifiably proud to announce the new relationship with Hainan Airlines following years of hard work by representatives of The Calgary Airport Authority, other important partners including the Government of Alberta, the City of Calgary and Travel Alberta all deserve credit for the tremendous effort they put in to bringing today's announcement to fruition.

Among the key benefits anticipated by the provincial government is the boost the new service will give to the Alberta tourism industry.

"Direct air access from China will make Alberta easily accessible and attractive for Chinese travellers," said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta's Minister of Culture and Tourism. "This flight will directly support job creation, economic growth and market diversification for tourism and our province and play a significant role in growing tourism in Alberta to a $10 billion industry by 2020.‎"

Alberta's tourism agencies are ready for visitors from China, one of the fastest growing outbound tourism markets in the world.

"This flight is critical to Alberta's destination marketing efforts in China and Asia," says Royce Chwin, Travel Alberta's Chief Executive Officer. "We have made a significant marketing investment in China over the past five years in anticipation of a direct flight into the province. We will continue working with Hainan Airlines and Alberta industry partners to inspire travellers and fill seats into Calgary. We're eager for the growth opportunity this new service will provide our tourism operators throughout Alberta."

Local economic contributions from the business and leisure traffic to be carried by Hainan are also an important component of the announcement.

"This announcement is an important sign of Calgary's economic resiliency," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "A direct link to China is vital for the growth of industry, investment, and tourism. Thanks to all my colleagues, Hainan Airlines, and the Calgary International Airport, and many fellow Calgarians who worked hard to make this happen."

Hainan Airlines will initially operate flights three days a week from Calgary to Beijing Capital Airport with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, offering 36 business class and 176 economy class seats. Frequency between Beijing and Calgary will increase to four flights per week later in the year. 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.

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, the company 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 22 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 eight direct flights to North American cities such as Toronto, Boston, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago and Los Angeles.

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.

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    P: 403 735 5899