Air China’s new nonstop four weekly flights from Beijing Capital International Airport to Washington Dulles International were welcomed today by the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Terence McAuliffe, District of Columbia Deputy Mayor Victor L. Hoskins and MWAA’s President/CEO, John E. Potter. Mrs. Yinxiang Wang, Air China’s Vice Chairman, headed the delegation from China on board the inaugural flight. She was joined by Air China’s executives in the United States: Dr. Zhihang Chi, Vice President for North America, and Mr. Li Wei, General Manager for Washington, DC.
Air China’s maiden capital-to-capital flight arrived at 2:35 PM EDT today and was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute. For an auspicious beginning, Chinese lion dancers drummed and danced in and around the departures level of the main terminal of Washington Dulles, where a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held.
“We are honored to connect the centers of government of China and the United States. We are pleased to link two of the world’s greatest capital cities with our new service, providing greater connectivity to promote bilateral trade, commerce and tourism between our two destinations,” Mrs. Wang said.
The new service will be operated by Air China’s new-generation Boeing 777-300ER featuring three-class cabins: first class (Forbidden Pavilion), business (Capital Pavilion) and economy class. First class cabins feature luxury suites; business class cabins boast 180-degree flatbed seats. All cabins have individual TV screens with audio-video-on-demand (AVOD).
“We welcome Air China’s new capital-to-capital service between Beijing and Washington,” said Jack Potter, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “Air China provides a new travel alternative for passengers from Washington and the People’s Republic of China to maintain important governmental relationships, conduct business, promote tourism, visit family and friends and learn more about the cultures of our great countries.”
Air China’s new nonstop service (CA 818) departs from Washington Dulles International (IAD) to Beijing (PEK) at 5:00 PM local time on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It arrives in Beijing the next day at 6:40 PM local time. CA 817 departs Beijing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 12:45 PM local time and arrives at IAD on the same day at 2:35 PM local time. Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Washington, D.C.
Washington Dulles International is Air China’s seventh gateway in North America that include Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), Houston (IAH), Honolulu (HNL) and Vancouver (YVR).
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