Xiamen Airlines touches down in Canada for the first time

YVR is first airport in North America and Europe to be served by five airlines from Mainland China

RICHMOND, BC, July 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) celebrated the inaugural flight of Xiamen Airlines to North America. The new year-round, non-stop, Boeing 787 service will operate three times weekly between YVR and Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN).

"We're delighted to welcome Xiamen Airlines as our fifth airline from Mainland China," said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "It's no surprise that this very successful airline chose YVR as its first North American destination – our city has close ties with Fujian province, while our northwest location and world-class facility makes YVR the best gateway to North America for any Asian airline."

The new Chinese service originates from Xiamen Airlines' namesake city, which has a population of more than 3.8 million people. Located in southeastern China, Xiamen boasts a warm climate, tropical scenery and tree-lined beaches. It has long been a popular stop for Chinese tourists, but the city is now welcoming more and more foreign travellers. It is a sophisticated destination, with hip boutiques and cafes alongside traditional temples and attractions. In addition to serving Canadians and Americans whose destination is Xiamen, the new route will be bolstered by a 72-hour visa-free stopover program.

Xiamen Airlines has been in operation for 32 years and for the past three years it has been named the Best Airline in Mainland China and received the highest honour for service, winning the China Quality Award in 2016. The company operates an all-Boeing fleet of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. The new YVR route, added as part of a rapid intercontinental expansion, is operated on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with 4 First class, 18 Business class and 215 Economy class seats. Flight MF806 will depart Vancouver at 1:40 a.m. and arrive in Xiamen at 5:30 a.m. local time the following day. The westbound flight, MF805, departs Xiamen at 9:30 p.m. before crossing the International Date Line to arrive in Vancouver at 6:40 p.m.

The chairman and CEO of Xiamen airlines Mr. Che Shanglun pointed out that Vancouver-Xiamen route was the first route that enables Xiamen airlines to extend its network towards the North America in company's history.

The new service will add 158 jobs to the B.C. economy and $9 million in Gross Domestic Product for the province. In addition to strengthening business and trade ties, Canada stands to see more Chinese tourists taking advantage of the new, non-stop service.

Vancouver Airport Authority secured the new route under its new five-year airline rates and charges program, ConnectYVR, which began on January 1, 2016. This program offers airlines the lowest landing and terminal fees of any competing airport in Canada and the U.S., while incenting and rewarding airline growth. Xiamen Airlines is the first new airline attracted to YVR under the program.

In April 2008, the City of Richmond signed a Friendly Cooperation Agreement with Xiamen, and in 2012, Xiamen became its official sister city. The Sister City Program fosters mutual understanding and meaningful connections with other cities and cultures.


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 more than 20 million passengers in 2015. Fifty-four airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 120 non-stop destinations worldwide. YVR was voted Best Airport in North America for the seventh consecutive year in the 2016 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2015 donated more than $900,000 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. For more information, please visit www.yvr.ca.

SOURCE Vancouver Airport Authority

Image with caption: "Xiamen Airlines Ribbon Cutting (from Left): Xiamen Airlines Cabin Crew; Dayna Miller, Director of Sales, Leisure Travel, Tourism Vancouver; Mr. Ben Stewart, British Columbia Special Representative in Asia; Mr. Shanglun Che, Chairman & President, Xiamen Airlines; Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities; Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority; Ms Liu Fei, Consul General of People’s Republic of China; Mr. Weidong Zhou, Vice President, Xiamen Airlines; Xiamen Airlines Cabin Crew (CNW Group/Vancouver Airport Authority)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160726_C5875_PHOTO_EN_741553.jpg

Image with caption: "Xiamen Airlines: YVR welcomes Xiamen Airlines' first service to North America. (CNW Group/Vancouver Airport Authority)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160726_C5875_PHOTO_EN_741549.jpg

For further information: YVR Media Relations, 604.880.9815, media_relations@yvr.ca, Twitter: @yvrairport

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