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Beantown to Beijing

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Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts (D) departed for a trade mission November 30 to China by departing Boston's Logan International Airport with a 40 member delegation for a direct flight to...

...another airport in the US that serves China directly.

Currently, Boston has no direct service to Asia.

Logan Airport has always been limited by a runway that is unable to accommodate a fully loaded 747-400. Korean Airlines operated service between BOS-IAD-ICN, not the most attractive of options for New England travelers. The 747 would depart Boston with many empty seats and fly to Washington, DC to pick up additional passengers before flying to Seoul. The airline struggled to achieve profitability on the route and it was eventually canceled in July 2001.

Talk of establishing the route had been floating around the aviation world when Boston's Mayor Menino first announced plans for the service in early 2006.

According to his public schedule, Governor Patrick will be sharing dinner with the Chairman of the soon-to-be-re-branded Hainan Airlines (Grand China Air), this evening (December 3rd). Undoubtedly, a topic of conversation will be the air link between Boston and China. Accompanying Governor Patrick on the Trade Mission is the CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Tom Kinton who oversees the operation of Logan Airport.

Not coincidentally last week, a member of the Governor's Commission on Asian American Affairs reaffirmed that flights between BOS and PEK were planned for launch sometime in 2009.

Grand China Air will fly its new Boeing 787s on the route. GCA is expected to receive ZA012 and ZA016 sometime in 2009 following flight testing and certification of the Dreamliner which is expected to begin in March 2008.

gca787.jpg

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