1st Xiamen Airlines flight touches down in N.America
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) celebrated the inaugural flight of China's Xiamen Airlines to North America here on Monday evening.
The new year-round, non-stop, Boeing 787 service will operate three times weekly between Vancouver and Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN).
"We're delighted to welcome Xiamen Airlines as our fifth airline from mainland China," said Craig Richmond, president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority. "It's no surprise that this very successful airline chose YVR as its first North American destination - our city has close ties with Fujian province, while our northwest location and world-class facility make YVR the best gateway to North America for any Asian airline."
The new Chinese service originates from Xiamen Airlines' namesake city, which has a population of more than 3.8 million people. Located in Southeastern China, Xiamen boasts a warm climate, tropical scenery and tree-lined beaches. It has long been a popular stop for Chinese tourists, but the city is now welcoming more and more foreign travelers.
Next to serving Canadians and Americans whose destination is Xiamen, the new route will be bolstered by a 72-hour visa-free stopover program.
Xiamen Airlines has been operating for 32 years and for the past three years, it has received the highest honor for service and won the China Quality Award in 2016.
The new route to Vancouver was added as part of a rapid intercontinental expansion, and is operated on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with 4 First class, 18 Business class and 215 Economy class seats. Flight MF806 will depart Vancouver at 1:40 am local time (0840 GMT) and arrive in Xiamen at 5:30 am local time the following day (2130 GMT on the previous day). The westbound flight, MF805, departs Xiamen at 9:30 pm local time (1330 GMT) before crossing the International Date Line to arrive in Vancouver at 6:40 pm local time (0140 GMT on the following day).