"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," Air China President Jianjiang Cai says in a release announcing the new route.
As expected, Houston airport officials enthusiastically greeted the news.
"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," Mario Diaz , Director of the Houston Airport System, says in the release. "As a critical economic driver for Houston, this new route will result in remendous benefits to the region."
Air China plans to fly four flights a week on Boeing 777-300ER jets. China-bound flights will leave Houston at 1:40 a.m. and land in Beijing at 5 a.m. the next day, all times local. The return flight will leave Beijing at 3 p.m. and land in Houston at 3:30 p.m. on the same day, all times local.
Houston will become Air China's fifth destination in North America. It's others are Los Angeles, New York JFK, San Francisco and Vancouver.
Air China says the addition of Houston highlights "its investment in the Americas with new nonstop services, product upgrades and increase in flight
Source: Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY