Northwest Airlines’non-stop Seattle-Beijing flight from March 1, 2009

16 May, 2008: Northwest Airlines, a major airline in the United States based in Eagan, Minnesota, will start daily non-stop service between Seattle, Washington, and Beijing, capital of China, from March 1, 2009.

The planned Seattle-Beijing flight “will bolster the Pacific Northwest’s trade ties with China and give travellers more options for reaching key Asian cities,” the website reported.

Meanwhile, Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth-largest carrier, will start non-stop service between Seattle and Beijing on June 9, 2008.

Northwest Airlines’ new service, leaving Seattle at 4:55 p.m. and arriving in Beijing at 8:35 p.m. the next day, will use Airbus A330-200s having 32 business-class seats and 211 economy-class seats.

The new non-stop service is expected to connect conveniently Beijing to Seattle and destinations throughout the United States via flights operated by Northwest Airlines and code-share partners Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Apart form the non-stop Seattle-Beijing service, Northwest Airlines plans to launch a nonstop Detroit-Shanghai service in March 2009. This daily service will be operated with Northwest’s 747-400 aircraft having 65 business-class near-flat seats and 338 coach seats.

Seattle already has non-stop service to three other Asian cities: While United Airlines and Northwest Airlines now fly to Tokyo, other airlines fly to Seoul in South Korea and Taipei in Taiwan.

Analysts say that, even though Hainan Airlines will have a “9-month head start” on offering a direct flight on the Seattle-Beijing route, Hainan does not have Northwest Airlines’ long-standing code-share agreements with Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air for connections throughout the United States, the website added.

According to statistics at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, about 69,000 passengers flew between Seattle and China in 2007. The figure does not include passengers connecting through Seattle from other cities.

It is estimated that, by 2009, the number of passengers flying between Seattle and China will nearly double. And, over 100,000 passengers are expected to connect to other cities through Seattle, bringing the total traffic to about 227,000 passengers.

Northwest Airlines, which is being bought by Delta Air Lines, already operates a daily non-stop flight between Seattle and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and will start service from Seattle to London’s Heathrow Airport on June 1, 2008.

Northwest Airlines, the fifth-largest carrier in the United States, is also the major US airline in the Asian market – operating over 200 non-stop flights between the United States and Asia each week.








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