How Vancouver became China's aviation hub to the West

By: kuailai99
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How Vancouver became China's aviation hub to the West There are few pop culture icons better known on both sides of the Pacific than Jackie Chan. The action-movie star's work across US and Asian film made him an obvious choice to represent Hong Kong Airlines and fly on the airline's first flight to North America.上海到香港 The Hong Kong-based airline -- as its name suggests -- had its maiden flight to YVR Vancouver International Airport on June 30, its first destination outside of Asia and Australia.

The carrier's flight is just the latest inaugural flight to YVR from mainland China and Hong Kong. Unlikely as it seems, Vancouver is the epicenter for the international expansion of Asian carriers. Geographically blessed It seems a surprising hub, but consider its geographical advantage -- all its Chinese destinations are closer to Vancouver than to any other major North American city. "We have more direct mainland Chinese flights than any other airport in North America or Europe," says YVR CEO Craig Richmond.

"To put that in perspective, our relatively small, 23 million passenger-per-year airport has more Chinese flights than Heathrow, JFK, Los Angeles or San Francisco. When I tell people that, they're surprised!" Cathay Pacific Airways, Air China and Air Canada have linked Vancouver with Hong Kong and China for decades, but over the past few years, the number of Chinese airlines flying to Canada's West Coast has exploded. China Eastern, China Southern, Xiamen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines have started service to YVR from major and second-tier cities in China. Hong Kong Airlines, which is mostly owned by Chinese industrial conglomerate HNA Group, joined that growing list on June 30.

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