With travel between Canada and China continuing to increase, Air China looks to meet the demand by adding four cross-Pacific flights per week.
On February 5, 2013 Air China announced that they will be increasing the weekly flights between Beijing and Vancouver. Starting on May 17, 2013 the airline will up its offerings from seven to 11 weekly flights, hoping to capitalize on the upsurge of Chinese tourists that came from the Approved Destination Status that Canada was granted by the Chinese government in 2009 (which allows for the organization of group travel, organized by certified travel agencies, from China to the Great White North). Since receiving this designation, Chinese tourism to Canada has risen 25 per cent.
David Solloway, senior advisor at Air China, points to an increasing number of tourists on both sides of the Pacific as the driving force behind their flight addition, noting that as Canadians are allowed a 72 hour entry into Beijing without a travel Visa, many use the city as a starting off point before heading to places like Bali and Thailand.
This announcement comes just one year after Prime Minister Stephen Harper travelled to China to launch a tourism marketing campaign looking to encourage more Chinese to travel to Canada, which included the opening of a tourism office in Beijing.
Air China was founded in 1988 and is the exclusive national flag carrier; it was also the official airline partner of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.