"There's such a large ethnic population on the East Coast, especially New York. That Chinese diaspora will help underwrite air services to China. It's important in respect to China's need to expand the links with the more dynamic East Coast," said Peter Harbison, managing director at the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation.
China's WTO membership and increased tourism are expected to create more travellers between China and the USA.
"We're starting these flights because the market demanded it," said a Mr. Wang
The Air China plane would leave at 1400 on the days mentioned above and arrive at 1550 at JFK the same day. It will depart at 1730 from JFK and arrive at 1900 in Beijing the next day.
"Air China is considered somewhat as the chosen instrument of China, the de facto national carrier. They have a sort of mandate to fly to other key cities in the world. My feeling is it was a decision made more for political reasons than for commercial reasons," said Jim Eckes, managing director of the Hong Kong-based consulting agency Indoswiss Aviation.
"A lot of people in China right now have a right to pick a non-Chinese airline in international travel. And anybody who lives in Beijing knows the weaknesses of Air China," he said referring to service levels.
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