Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will close another record-breaking year for passenger growth with the start of a new direct flight service to Nanjing, a major Chinese city just west of Shanghai near the mouth of the Yangtze River.
The new thrice weekly service beginning on December 20 will be operated by China Eastern, making it the airlines’ third route operating from YVR.
Flights will depart YVR at 10:30 am on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday and arrive in Nanjing Lukou International Airport 12 hours later at 3 pm the next day. For return trips, flights will leave Nanjing at 2 pm and land at YVR at 8:30 pm the same day. An Airbus A330-200 aircraft will be used for the new route.
It complements China Eastern’s two other routes serving Vancouver, including a twice-daily service to Shanghai and a three-times weekly service to Kunming via Shanghai. All of these flights connect with China Eastern’s domestic network comprising of 128 flights routes.
“China Eastern Airlines has been operating from Vancouver to China for the past 12 years. Vancouver to Nanjing is our third direct flight from Western Canada to China,” said Xiangying Rong, General Manager of China Eastern Airlines Vancouver Office, in a statement. “This provides passengers with more options when flying with China Eastern to China and beyond.”
Nanjing, one of China’s largest cities with a regional population of over eight million, is a major inland port city and a key economic hub. It is anticipated that China Eastern’s newest Vancouver service will create over 162 new local jobs in BC and add $9.5 million in GDP, $1.8 million in taxes, and $3.2 million in wages.
An announcement is also expected soon on a new daily direct flight service by Hong Kong Airlines from YVR to Hong Kong International Airport, competing with daily direct flights operated by Cathay Pacific and Air Canada.
Cathay Pacific currently flies 14 times weekly – twice daily – to YVR and this will increase to 17 flights weekly by April using an Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Comparatively, Air Canada operates a daily service using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
On December 30, Beijing Capital Airlines is scheduled to begin a three times weekly service to Hangzhou, China with a stop at Qingdao.
Buoyed by a booming local tourism industry and reduced competitive airline landing and gate costs, YVR anticipates it will see a record 22 million passengers by the end of 2016 – up from 20.3 million from last year and the original estimate of 21 million for this year.
New and improved major YVR routes 2015/2016/2017
March 15, 2015: Manila, Philippines and New York City, U.S.A. – Philippine Airlines adds four weekly flights to its route from Manila to NYC, with a stop in Vancouver.
March 29, 2015: Paris, France – Air France begins three times weekly non-stop flight service, with five times weekly schedules during the summer months.
May 1, 2015: Osaka, Japan – Air Canada Rouge begins five times weekly service to Kansai International Airport.
June 26, 2015: Kungming, China – China Eastern Airlines begins three times weekly flight service via Shanghai.
December 9, 2015: Mexico City, Mexico – Aeromexico to begin daily non-stop flight service.
January 1, 2016: Orlando International Airport – WestJet to begin twice weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
January 20, 2016: Orlando-Sanford International Airport – National Airlines to begin two times weekly seasonal flight service.
February 15, 2016: Cancun, Mexico – Air Canada to begin weekly, non-stop seasonal service.
May 1, 2016: London Heathrow Airport – British Airways to use an AirBus A380 superjumbo jet for its existing daily non-stop London Heathrow Airport service. The A380 will only be used during the summer months.
May 6, 2016: London Gatwick Airport – WestJet to begin six times weekly non-stop flight service.
May 9, 2016: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport – Air Canada to begin twice daily, non-stop service to San Jose.
June 1, 2016: Brisbane, Australia – Air Canada to begin daily non-stop flight service.
June 2, 2016: San Diego International Airport – Air Canada to begin daily, non-stop seasonal service.
June 4, 2016: Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Air Canada to begin daily, non-stop service.
June 10, 2016: Dublin Airport – Air Canada to begin seasonal non-stop flight service.
June 29, 2016: London, Ontario – WestJet to begin four times weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
June 29, 2016: Halifax, Nova Scotia – WestJet to begin four times weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
June 30, 2016: Hamilton, Ontario – WestJet to begin three times weekly non-stop seasonal flight service.
July 25, 2016: Xiamen, China – Xiamen Airlines to begin three times weekly non-stop flight service.
October 20, 2016: Delhi, India – Air Canada to begin three times weekly non-stop flight service.
December 1, 2016: Mexico City, Mexico – Aeromexico increases weekly flights from 14 to 20.
December 20, 2016:Nanjing, China – China Eastern Airlines to begin three times weekly non-stop flight service.
December 30, 2016:Hangzhou, Chinavia Qingdao, China – Beijing Capital Airlines to begin three times weekly service.
February 5, 2017:Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas – Air Canada to begin daily service.
March 28, 2017: Hong Kong, China – Cathay Pacific increases weekly flights from 14 to 17.
June 1, 2017: Nagoya, Japan – Air Canada to begin seasonal three times weekly service.
June 8, 2017: Taipei, Taiwan – Air Canada to begin daily service.
June 30, 2017: Hong Kong, China – Hong Kong Airlines to begin daily non-stop flight service.
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com