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Air China Continues Expansion in North America with New Nonstop Houston-Beijing Service

  Air China Continues Expansion in North America with New Nonstop
  Houston-Beijing Service

 --New service makes Houston the first gateway for direct connection to China
        in Texas and in the South Central Region of the United States—

Business Wire

HOUSTON -- January 15, 2013

Dr. Zhihang Chi, Air China’s Vice President and General Manager for North
America, announced Air China’s new nonstop service between Houston and
Beijing, pending government approval, in a joint press conference with the
Houston Airport System today.

Air China Continues Expansion in North America with New Nonstop
Houston-Beijing Service (Photo: Bus ...

Air China Continues Expansion in North America with New Nonstop
Houston-Beijing Service (Photo: Business Wire)

“With its vibrant business communities and fast-growing diverse population,
Houston is a perfect choice for an additional gateway for Air China. It offers
the most convenient connections to China and beyond for our passengers from
Texas and other neighboring states,” Dr. Chi stated.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker welcomed the news.

“Houston is honored to be the newest global gateway for Air China as our
international growth depends on strong relationships worldwide,” said Mayor
Annise Parker. “This new direct route to China will ensure our success in
growing the Texas regional economy and strengthen the global ties to our trade
partners in China.”

Consul General Erwen Xu also applauded Air China’s new flight to Houston.
Madame Xu, China’s 12^th Consul General in Houston, said at the press
conference, “Houston has always played an important role in China-U.S.
relations. In 1979, Houston was one of the stops of China’s late leader Deng
Xiaoping’s historic visit to the U.S. In the same year, it became the host
city of China’s very first Consulate General in the U.S. The nonstop flight
between Houston and Beijing, as dreamed by many people for many years, will
not only shorten the distance between Houston and China, but also help expand
future cooperation between the southern part of the U.S. and China, and help
foster stronger ties between our two great countries.”

Air China, China’s exclusive national flag carrier, is scheduled to operate
the round-trip Beijing to Houston route on a new generation Boeing 777-300ER
beginning Thursday, July 11, 2013, pending approval from the United States
Department of Transportation. By selecting Houston, Air China will benefit
from a strong international community with many business and leisure
passengers who use Intercontinental as a global gateway.

“We’ve seen a steady growth of air travel between Houston and China in recent
years, and now it will become the first scheduled passenger destination in the
U.S. that we’ve added in three decades. We look forward to serving Houston and
facilitating stronger ties between China and the United States,” Mr. Jianjiang
Cai, Air China’s President and Executive Director, said.

Air China will operate at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) from
Terminal D, which is the gateway for all foreign flag carriers into the fourth
largest city in the United States. Houston is a leader in the Americas for
excellent facilitation of international visitors in a state-of-the-art Federal
Inspection Services facility.

“We offer a Texas-sized welcome to Air China on the new flights to Bush
Intercontinental that offer the Lone Star state a direct connection to China,”
said Mario C. Diaz, Director of Aviation for the Houston Airport System. “As a
critical economic driver for Houston, this new route will result in tremendous
benefits to the region.”

Starting with four flights a week, the nonstop flight will depart from Beijing
at 3 p.m. and land in Houston on the same day at 3:30 p.m. Outbound, it is
scheduled to leave Houston at 1:40 a.m. the next day, arriving at Beijing
Capital International Airport at 5 a.m. the following day.

Houston will be Air China’s fifth gateway in North America in addition to New
York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. China’s national flag carrier
continues its investment in the Americas with new nonstop services, product
upgrades and increase in flight frequencies. On March 31, 2013, the New
York-Beijing flight will increase from 7 to 11 per week. As well, the aircraft
for this route will be upgraded to B777-300ER. The Los Angeles-Beijing
service, which uses the B777-300ER, will resume its double daily flights on
March 31, 2013. Vancouver-Beijing is scheduled to increase from 7 to 11
flights per week on May 17, 2013. A bigger B747-400 full-passenger aircraft
will be used for the San Francisco-Beijing daily operation beginning March 31,
2013.

About Air China

Air China is the world’s largest airline by market capitalization, according
to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It operates a fleet of
432 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Its robust network of 289 routes extends
throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South and North America from its
main hub at Beijing Capital International Airport where it offers unrivaled
connections to cities within China and beyond. As a Star Alliance member, Air
China has within its reach 1,356 destinations in 193 countries. Visit
www.airchina.us or call Air China’s North America Call Center at 800-882-8122
for more information.

About Houston Airports

The Houston Airport System served 50 million passengers in 2012. Houston's
three airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby
(HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) contribute $27.5 billion to the regional
economy. Visit fly2houston.com and follow us @HobbyAirport and @IAH.

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Contact:

for Air China:
Lillibeth Bishop, (310) 744-8231
lillibeth@airchina.us
or
for HAS:
Houston Airport System
Media Line, 281-233-1234
 
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