Beijing – Air China will launch a direct route from Chengdu to Tokyo on September 22, 2010. Air China is the first airline to launch a direct route to Japan from Southwest China.
On September 22, Air China will launch a regular direct route from Chengdu to Tokyo. Flights are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. With the flight number CA423/4, the flights depart from Chengdu Shuangliu Airport at 8:00am and arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport at 1:40pm local time. The return flights depart from Tokyo Narita Airport at 2:50 and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport at 7:20pm local time. The new route will save passengers at least 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Previously, Air China launched three routes from Chengdu to Japan, including the Chengdu-Beijing-Tokyo and Chengdu-Shanghai-Nagoya routes with flights available daily, and the Chengdu-Dalian-Osaka route with three flights available every week. After the launch of Chengdu-Tokyo direct route, there have been 9 Air China flights every week from Chengdu to Tokyo.
Japan relaxed its visa requirements for Chinese tourists in July, and the number of Chinese tourists to Japan continues to increase. In 2009, Sichuan received 166,910 Japanese tourists; the number during the period from January to May 2010 was 47,601, an increase of 33.83% over the same period last year. The launch of this direct route will help improve the Japanese tourism market, the development of Sichuan’s tourism industry, and even the economic and cultural exchange of the entire Southwestern region.
Air China is China’s only national flag carrier and a Star Alliance member. Using a fleet of 256 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Air China’s 250 routes serve 32 countries and regions. Thanks to the airline’s admission to the Star Alliance, Air China’s route network, with Beijing as its hub, is able to place 912 destinations in 159 countries within its reach. Air China now has 10 million members in its frequent flyers program.