China gets first direct link to Las Vegas

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Chinese travellers are now just a single flight away from the bright lights of Las Vegas following the launch of a Hainan Airlines’ latest long-haul route.

The first ever non-stop scheduled flight between Beijing Las Vegas took off on 2 December 2016, marking Hainan Airlines’ sixth new US route in the last eight years.

An arrival ceremony for the maiden flight was held by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) at the arrivals hall of Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, attended by Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan, LVCVA president Rossi Ralenkotter, Hainan Airlines’ vice president of marketing Hou Wei, and other officials.

The new flights will operate three times a week, departing Beijing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1455 and arriving in Las Vegas at 1110 the same day, having crossed the International Date Line. The return services then leave at 1310 and get back to China’s capital city at 1805 the next day. The flight time is approximately 12.5 hours, and Hainan Airlines will deploy its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the route, with flat-bed seats in business class.

Las Vegas is already developing attractions to serve its new wave of Asian visitors. The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino opened recently, offering an array of Asian offerings including Chinese signage and staff, and Genting Hong Kong is also developing a Chinese-themed integrated resort, Resorts World Las Vegas, which expected to open in 2019.

A staggering 42.3 million people visited Las Vegas in 2015, 73% of whom gambled during their stay. Close to 7.3m Chinese tourists are projected to travel to the US between now and 2021.

Hainan Airlines now flies to six US destinations: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle and Las Vegas.

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