The first direct air route linking Shenzhen with Los Angeles was launched Thursday, according to Air China’s inaugural ceremony.
Three round-trip flights, coded CA769/770, will be made Monday, Thursday and Saturday every week.
The service will use a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with each flight taking about 12.5 hours.
The flight leaves Shenzhen at 11:30 p.m. and arrives in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. (local time). The return flight departs at 10:50 p.m. and arrives in Shenzhen at 5:40 a.m. (the following day).
Air China’s 787-9s have 30 lie-flat seats in business class, 34 recliner seats in premium economy and 229 economy seats. The business-class cabin features the same type of seats that you’ll find on United’s Dreamliners.
The service is an update from the Shenzhen-Beijing-Los Angeles route that Air China opened in February last year. The direct flight aims to serve passengers in China’s Pearl River Delta and was set up in response to the increase in Chinese outbound traffic.
It is part of the carrier’s effort to open new intercontinental routes in Shenzhen in recent years. In May last year, it opened service to Frankfurt.
Chen Zhiyong, vice president of Air China, said opening the Shenzhen-Los Angeles flight will stimulate trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges between Pearl River Delta cities and west coast U.S. cities.
For the period between 2005 and 2015, the number of passengers taking round trips between China and the U.S. exceeded 30 million, and for 2016 it was more than 5 million, a 5.3 percent growth over 2015.
China has become the largest tourism destination in the Asia-Pacific region for the U.S., and Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the U.S., has become the first-ever U.S. city destination to receive more than 1 million Chinese visitors in a year, according to a January report by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
The number of international routes from Shenzhen International Airport will reach 40 before the end of the year, said Chen Jinzu, general manager of Shenzhen Airport Group.