Another Chinese airline you may never have heard of wants to serve Los Angeles pending government approval, Chinese media is reporting.
This time the airline is Chengdu-based Sichuan Airlines. According to Chinese Aviation Daily, Sichuan Airlines wants to fly three times per week nonstop with an Airbus A330 from Jinan to Los Angeles. The flight will originate in Chengdu, so technically it will go Chengdu-Jinan-Los Angeles.
The story suggests Sichuan wants to start flying to Los Angeles in June. A U.S. source familiar with Sichuan told me that might be a slightly aggressive timeframe, but the source confirmed that Sichuan has been speaking to prospective ground handlers in Los Angeles.
What is Jinan?
I have learned that it is the provincial capital of Shandong, and it's located about 530 miles northwest of Shanghai. Wikipedia says about 6.8 million people live there.
A quick search of Google Flights shows Jinan is more of a regional airport. I see no flights to Europe or the Americas, and only a few outside of China. Two airlines fly to Bangkok - Thai Lion Air and Shandong - but that's just about as far as you can go if you want to leave China.
While Jinan is not yet a giant air market, Sichuan Airlines does have a strong track record. It has more than 100 Airbus aircraft, and, according to its website, it flies more than 160 routes.
It also has considerable long-haul experience. It flies to Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, Moscow and Dubai.
Has anyone ever been to Jinan or flown Sichuan Airlines? I'm curious about both. Share your experiences in the comments section?
I've written several stories in the past 18 months about how airlines want to add more flights between "secondary" Chinese cities and the U.S. West Coast. These are a few stories you may have missed.
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