Seattle-Beijing flight from March 1,
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 seattletimes.com 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 seattletimes.com added.
According to statistics at the
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
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.