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(The following is a reformatted version of a press release issued by Air China and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)

Air China to operate more flights from Vancouver to Beijing

February 05, 2013 … Vancouver B.C. Canada. Air China, China’s national airline and official flag carrier has announced it will increase the number of scheduled flights operated from Vancouver, Canada to Beijing, China from 7 to 11 flights per week. The new flights are scheduled to begin on May 17, 2013. The new flight, CA 998 will depart Vancouver on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 10:00 AM, arriving into Beijing Capital Airport at 12:25 PM, the following day. The returning flight, CA 997, will depart Beijing at 12:00 noon, every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, arriving into Vancouver at 8:00 AM the same day. The new flights are in addition to Air China’s daily flights, CA 992, which departs Vancouver International Airport at 1:50 PM. All flights to Vancouver are operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Xu Junhong (John), Air China’s General Manager in Vancouver commented, “The additional nonstop morning departures are expected to be extremely popular with the travelling public. The early afternoon arrival time into our hub at Beijing’s Capital Airport, allows for convenient connections to over 90 domestic destinations in China, as well as more than 40 International destinations.

This means an overnight stay in Beijing is not needed to fly directly to a final destination in Air China’s route network. In addition, the ongoing encouragement we receive from the Provincial Government of BC, the Vancouver Airport Authority and other tourism stakeholders across Canada helped Air China make the decision to continue to expand our Vancouver to Beijing flights. The additional flights further boost British Columbia’s successful Pacific Gateway strategy.” Mr. Xu continued, “The new flights will also facilitate the upsurge in Chinese tourists as Canada was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) more than one year ago.”

“Opening and expanding international markets for B.C.’s goods and services is one of the pillars of the BC jobs plan, and is supported through the recently released BC Aviation Strategy,” says Transportation and infrastructure Minister Mary Polak. “In 2012 the BC government eliminated the jet fuel tax for international flights, allowing the international carriers, such as Air China, to invest in expansion. Air China’s decision to expand its service between Beijing and Vancouver is great news for Canada’s Pacific Gateway and is an example of our ability to attract a growing share of Asia Pacific passenger and cargo traffic.”

Air China is China’s only national flag carrier and a member of the Star Alliance. In addition to commercial operations it also provides special flight services for the countries’ state leaders on official visits to other countries. With a fleet of 432 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Air China operates 289 routes, extending throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, as well as North and South America. Air China offers over 6,900 departures and 1,100,000 seats each week.

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