Air China begins service – four flights a week by two airlines

January 12, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 11, the maiden flight between Naha and Beijing operated by Air China, the most well known of Chinese airline companies, arrived at Naha Airport. The 141 passengers received commemorative gifts and bouquets of flowers in a welcome ceremony held at the international terminal.

To date, direct flights between these two cities have operated only twice a week, and have been provided by Hainan Airlines, but that number has now doubled with the introduction of the new service by Air China. This is the first time for Air China to commence such a service to Okinawa.

At the welcome ceremony, Vice-governor Yoshiyuki Uehara said, “This year is memorable in that it is the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. I’m very glad that you are visiting Okinawa at such a time, and hope that you create special memories on this trip.”

A young woman from Beijing visiting Okinawa for the first time said with a smile, “Okinawa is surrounded by such beautiful sea. I sort of imagine it as being like Hawaii. I want to go to the Churaumi Aquarium and Kokusai Street.”

The Okinawa Prefecture Government held a welcome reception for the passengers on the evening of January 11 at the Okinawa Harborview Crowne Plaza in Naha.

The service will use 737-800 aircraft that carry up to 162 passengers, and will operate every Wednesday and Saturday. The outgoing flight departs from Naha at 1:30pm and arrives at Beijing on 4:10pm. The incoming flight departs from Beijing at 8:20am and arrives in Naha at 12:30pm local time.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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