Expanded service means more travel options, trade opportunities and job growth for B.C.
RICHMOND, BC, July 19, 2013 /CNW/ - China Eastern Airlines and Vancouver Airport Authority today marked the airline's service increase from one to two daily flights connecting Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG). Beginning July 20, 2013, China Eastern's expanded service will provide more options for passengers and greater opportunities for trade and economic growth, both here in British Columbia and in Shanghai, China's economic epicentre.
"We're proud of our pivotal role as the gateway airport connecting Canada to China, and we commend China Eastern Airlines Canada for its expanded service." said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "These service increases, plus our continued investment in YVR's infrastructure, will help ensure that passengers on either side of the Pacific can benefit from the connections we offer."
With this service and other existing connections, YVR is North America's gateway of choice to the Asia-Pacific region, offering the most carriers, destinations and frequencies - 75 every week - to mainland China and Hong Kong of any North American airport.
"China Eastern Airlines is delighted to extend its service between Vancouver and Shanghai, which will connect up to 204,000 travellers between these destinations in 2013 alone," said Margaret Meng, General Manager, China Eastern Airlines Canada. "We respect and value the Canadian market and have worked hard to provide good value for our customers, by investing in new aircraft on the YVR-PVG route, upgrading onboard services and even redesigning our cabin crew uniforms."
Based in Shanghai, China Eastern Airlines is one of the three largest airlines in China and ranks among the world's top five airlines in passenger volume, carrying approximately 80 million customers on some 430 long- and short-haul aircraft with a worldwide average fleet age of less than seven years. In 2012, China Eastern Airlines was named Most Improved Airline by Skytrax World Airline Awards. The airline originally began flights to and from YVR in June 2004.
"Our government welcomes China Eastern Airlines' additional daily passenger service to Vancouver. The supplementary service will boost tourism and business, provide more choice for Canadian travellers and have a positive impact on our economy," said the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. "This is yet another example of a deepened Canada-China relationship to grow our people to people ties and trade and economic relations."
Here in British Columbia, China Eastern's service increase is expected to generate the equivalent of more than 470 full-time jobs both at YVR and in B.C.'s hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions from visitors to the province on the new China Eastern flight. This activity will generate an estimated $17.3 million in wages, $9.7 million in taxes and $27.7 million in added Gross Domestic Product for the province.
"China Eastern's expansion of air services is another sign of increasing travel and trade between B.C. and China. Expanding air services is another way we can leverage B.C.'s competitive advantages to increase trade, create jobs and support communities," said the Honourable Christy Clark, B.C. Premier, who was joined at the event by the province's Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism and local Richmond MLA Teresa Wat.
Travellers looking to explore other Asian countries can benefit from China Eastern's close partnership with Shanghai's tourism industry, as the city offers a 72-hour visa exemption program targeted at international visitors. The new service will also make it easier for B.C. businesses and organizations such as schools and universities to reach new customers, suppliers and investors in China.
The double daily service will use Airbus 330-200 aircraft with comfort-optimized configuration, each offering a maximum capacity of 200 economy class and 30 business class seats. Flights operate daily as follows:
- MU581 arrives at YVR at 9:10a.m.; MU582 departs at 1:20 p.m.
- MU597 arrives at YVR at 7:40 p.m.; MU598 departs at 1:30 a.m.
About Vancouver Airport Authority
Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR served 17.6 million passengers in 2012, facilitated 261,000 takeoffs and landings and handled 227,200 tonnes of cargo. Sixty-eight airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 89 non-stop destinations worldwide. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2012 donated more than $675,000 to local organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.
About China Eastern Airlines
Established in 1988, China Eastern Airlines is an official member of SkyTeam and the second-largest Chinese airline by passenger volume. From its headquarters in Shanghai, the airline operates 430 aircraft to 1,000 cities in 197 countries via close cooperation with SkyTeam member airlines, and carries approximately 80 million passengers annually.
SOURCE Vancouver Airport Authority