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BA launches direct flights to Chengdu

BritCham / CBBC
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On 23 September, British Airways launched its new direct service between Chengdu and London, with the inaugural flight from London arriving in Sichuan province’s capital city that morning.
The British Airways Boeing 777-200 aircraft servicing the new route has been specially decorated with a painted livery, featuring a panda design, the icon of Chengdu. Passengers on the inaugural flight included Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group, and media from the UK and Europe. Following a spectacular water cannon salute, Li Wei, Chairman of Sichuan Province Airport Group, flanked by British Airways Ambassadors and panda mascots, met the aircraft.
Speaking at a press conference, Willie Walsh said: “British Airways is the only carrier to offer a direct service between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. We are confident the new route will prove popular with both business and leisure customers. Trade between the United Kingdom and China continues to grow and will be worth $100 billion by 2015. I am sure that the launch of this new route, in addition to British Airways' existing flights from Beijing and Shanghai, will be a key factor in developing business links between our two countries.”
British Airways is the only airline to operate four cabins between China and London and the only oneworld airline on the Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu to London routes. Walsh announced that British Airways plans to fly the 787 on the Chengdu route next summer and is considering increasing the number of weekly flights from three to five. British Airways currently has daily flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai, twice daily from Hong Kong and now a direct thrice-weekly service from Chengdu to London.


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