LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- A Water Cannon Salute welcomed Air China's inaugural second daily nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Beijing on Sept. 1. Scores of news reporters and local government officials, together with Air China executives from Beijing and the Los Angeles regional headquarters, watched from the tarmac as CA 987 was bathed in a rainbow of water from two Los Angeles Fire Department trucks parked several feet off the side of each wing of the B-747 combi.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa joined the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Yesui Zhang; the Hon. Shaofang Qiu, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles; Ms. Yinxiang Wang, Air China's Vice Chairman; and Michael A. Lawson, president of the Board of Airport Commissioners in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of Air China's new flight.
"The additional service between our two cities reaffirms the close ties between our two countries," Ambassador Zhang said in his speech at Terminal 2 of LAX. "It is our hope also that this will also serve to promote a closer exchange between the USA and China not only in trade but also among its people," he added.
The new flight's LAX arrival at 11 AM (CA 987) and its departure for Beijing at 1:20 PM (CA 988) significantly reduce the ground time at the Beijing Capital International Airport for passengers who are transiting to other cities in China and to other destinations in Asia such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, India, etc.
"The U.S. is strategically important to Air China. We are not only increasing our capacity but we are also expanding our network. More important, we continue to enhance our service,” Air China Vice Chairman Ms. Wang said. Next year, the state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300 ER will be in operation in all U.S. routes. It will feature luxury first class suites, flat beds in business class and a monitor-equipped individual entertainment in the economy cabin.
Accolades continue to pour into Air China's Los Angeles offices for the spectacular event from 6 PM to 9 PM at California Plaza, also on Sept. 1, 2011, to celebrate the new second daily nonstop flight. The venue's garden-like setting was turned into the ultimate Air China experience. Several guests tried on the powered flat-bed business class seats, each equipped with an individual TV screen. At a tea house off to the side of the stage, aromatic health-enhancing tea products that were flown in from Beijing were served while on a large plasma screen an Air China video was shown. Fabulous food stations of mouth-watering Chinese dishes completed an enchanted Air China event that is now dubbed by many as the "best ever" by an international carrier.
Veteran prime-time KNBC TV news anchor and local celebrity Chuck Henry hosted the program. Dr. Zhihang Chi, Air China's Vice President and General Manager for North America, received on the company's behalf a commendation by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and California State Senator Ted W. Lieu. An intriguing mask change magic show opened the evening's entertainment. This was followed by the crowd-pleasing fashion show featuring Air China's flight attendants from Beijing and ground crew in Los Angeles in their dazzling uniforms.
Guests broke into wild applause and grabbed their cameras as Grammy winner Kenny G walked to the stage from a staircase on the opposite side of the plaza while playing on his saxophone. The smooth jazz legend performed three songs: The Jasmine Flower Song, The Moon Represents my Heart and Going Home. He also congratulated Air China profusely for its additional service.
Air China is the exclusive national flag carrier of its country. It is the only international carrier that provides nonstop flights to Beijing from Los Angeles. A Star Alliance member, Air China also serves North America from its gateways in New York, San Francisco and Vancouver and a direct flight to Nanjing from JFK International Airport. It is also the world's largest airline in market capitalization. With a fleet of over 224 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Air China's 243 routes serve 28 countries and regions.
Visit www.airchina.com for more information. For sales and reservations, please contact 1-800-882-8122.
SOURCE Air China