Monday, November 2, 2015
Continuing from the previous post, with the subject of the expansion of Chinese airlines into intercontinental markets, here is yet another print advert evincing the phenomenon. Despite LAX's ascendancy to all-time highs in passenger numbers, making it, for the first time ever, the busiest airport in the United States by some measures, there are still only a handful of intercontinental airports that are served three times per day by a single carrier from Southern California.
Thanks to Air China's ambitions, Beijing is now one of them. While China's flagship airline has recently added a new flagship, the ultramodern B747-8, curiously in the context of this advert, it is thus far not flown to Los Angeles. The third schedule only became daily on July 1st, and all 3 routes are in fact served by a B777. The brand-new B747-8i is used on flights to San Francisco, which perhaps explains the presence of the Golden Gate Bridge here, and the next-gem jumbo landed at JFK in June, which accounts for the Statue of Liberty. Perhaps the Ballerinas are meant to evoke SoCal.
Air China is reportedly the only airline flying Beijing-LAX non-stop, and the only Chinese carrier with more than one flight per day between the U.S. and the People's Republic.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
As has been noted previously on The Timetablist, regional Chinese airlines have in the past several years cast a wider and wider net beyond the borders of China, and even beyond the shores of Asia.
One of the most ambitious of late has been medium-sized Sichuan Airlines, whose growth has been underpinned by the growing importance of its homebase, Chengdu, which is today one of interior China's cosmopolitan gateways.
Sichuan first made headlines with its bold announcement to fly to distant Vancouver from Chengdu, via coastal Shenyang, a service which started in June 2012. Less than a year later, the airline launched long-haul service to a third continent, Australia, with thrice-weekly flights to Melbourne. By the end of 2013, the airline had also launched a separate twice-weekly Chongqing-Sydney service.
The above advertisement boasts of this offering, with a fold-out business class shell holding its own to international standards. Fold-out luxury and privacy is also indicated by the wooden screen at the left of the ad, and if that wasn't enough Oriental flourish, a bough of bamboo is tucked in behind the inviting premium seat.
The ad has a bit of the old school, if anything, with the service schedule tabled at the bottom (in fact this sort of information is quite helpful and normally these key details are not at all accessible in a print ad of this sort).
Sichuan most recently made more big headlines earlier this quarter with commencement of service to Dubai, on a twice weekly Chengdu-Yinchuan-DXB routing. Although Emirates has yet to penetrate inner China, Etihad has flown Abu Dhabi-Chengdu daily since way back in 2011, joining other global carriers such as British Airways, KLM, Qatar Airways and United that have touched down in Szechuan from other continents.