Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones announced a new nonstop flight between Beijing and Washington Dulles International Airport operated by Air China. This announcement was made to an audience of more than 400 U.S. and Chinese political leaders at the U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference and was the result of collaboration between Washington, D.C., the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
“My administration is excited to unite with our regional partners to provide a nonstop air service that will bolster tourism and economic growth,” said Mayor Gray. “With the increase in travel between the two capital cities, we see an opportunity that will serve the capital region well into the future.”
The Gray Administration worked closely with newly elected Governor Terry McAuliffe of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Airports Authority to attract this new service. This collaboration demonstrates the value of states and municipalities working together for the benefit of the broader capital regions.
“Washington Dulles International is a key gateway to the world. The Commonwealth of Virginia is excited to partner with the District of Columbia and MWAA to support an air route that will help strengthen the economic health of the capital region,” said Sec. Jones. “Our longstanding and productive relationship with China is built on the pillars of economics and trade. We are excited about what this new air route to Beijing will do for the capital region in the future.”
Beginning in June, Air China will provide nonstop service four times weekly. An estimated 16,000 tourists and business travelers will visit the region on this flight, yielding $14 million in local spending, annually. Tourism marketing support will be provided by Destination DC and Virginia Tourism Corporation, two key regional tourism and convention bureaus.
"We are proud to welcome Air China's capital to capital service, connecting Washington Dulles International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport, and the additional travel opportunity it provides visitors to and from this region," said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. "The addition of this newest international airline continues Washington Dulles' significant expansion of international service."
Air China was founded in 1988 and serves 185 destinations with hubs in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. In 2012, Air China served 72 million passengers.