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YVR becomes first North American airport with direct link to Kunming, China

March 18, 2015 Airport No Comments Email Email

China Eastern Airlines announced three-time weekly direct  service between Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The service, set to begin on June 26, will connect via Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport and will establish Vancouver as the first North American destination from Kunming—one of China’s premier tourism regions.

“This new service marks another step toward achieving our mission of connecting British Columbia to the world,” saidCraig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Kunming is a key gateway destination and is the largest city in Yunnan Province, with a rich and vibrant history and a great future as a transportation hub. Having service to Kunming from YVR opens up exciting new tourism and business opportunities for Canadians and further establishes Vancouver as a gateway hub between Asia and the Americas.”

Known as the City of Eternal Spring due to its mild climate, Kunming has a population of 7.2 million and is a renowned tourism destination, as well as a significant connecting point to major South East Asia locations.

The new direct service to YVR compliments the recent agreement between China and Canada to provide 10-year multiple-entry visas to Canadian and Chinese citizens for business, tourism or family purposes. “Companies doing business between China and Canada always benefit from reduced complexity,” said Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director of the Canada China Business Council.  “This new, efficient means of travel is a very positive development.”

In addition to increased passenger flow and economic opportunities between the two cities, foreign passport holders connecting to a third country via Kunming can enjoy the 72-hour visa free transit in Kunming before departure. And passengers originating from YVR or KMG can have their bags checked through to either end.

YVR has strong linkages to China with more than 70 flights per week during the summer and 59 flights per week currently. YVR is the only airport in North America with service from four mainland China carriers and was the first North American airport selected by Sichuan Airlines for its long-haul flight. Traffic to the Asia-Pacific region reached almost three million passengers in 2014, up 9.8 per cent over 2013, with traffic to Mainland China up 6.66 per cent.

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