Inbound traffic from China and Germany—the Number 3 and 4 overseas source markets, respectively, for international inbound tourism—to the United States should receive a boost in the near future as one carrier has announced the launch of the first direct flights from China to Las Vegas; and a low-cost German carrier has said it is expanding U.S. service by 40 percent.
On Aug. 4, Hainan Airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to launch a new route connecting Las Vegas to Beijing, the first-ever nonstop flight between Las Vegas and Mainland China. The service will begin December 2, 2016 and will initially operate Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The new route is part of Hainan’s large-scale expansion in North America. On the West Coast, Hainan already operates nonstop service between Silicon Valley (SJC) and Beijing, Los Angeles (LAX) and Changsha, and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Beijing and Shanghai. The new service will connect Chinese travelers with a destination that is already one of the top five USA destinations for Chinese visitors—even without direct service between Las Vegas and China.
Said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas CVA, “China is an area where we have seen steady growth in visitation and we will continue to focus on experiences and amenities that cater to our Chinese guests. With these first-ever flights from China to Las Vegas, we are anticipating more than $33.5 million in annual economic impact.”
From Germany, airberlin, which launched in the late 1970s as a charter carrier operating from West Berlin, then grew with the 1991 reunification of the country, and took off internationally beginning in 2007 through acquisition of another carrier, announced that U.S. flights from its Berlin and Dusseldorf hubs will grow by 50 percent in summer 2017 with up to 78 weekly nonstop flights.
The carrier currently operates up to 55 flights a week to the US from Berlin and Dusseldorf. It is launching new West Coast services from Berlin to San Francisco and Los Angeles and a new route to Orlando from Dusseldorf, beginning in early May 2017.
Dusseldorf flights to both Boston and San Francisco will be upgraded to daily service while the Berlin-New York JFK will be increased by three flights a week. Airberlin also flies to Chicago O’Hare, Miami and Fort Myers.