BEIJING and NEW YORK – The chief executives of JetBlue Airways and Air China Limited today announced a new partnership at the 68th Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in the Chinese capital.
The agreement marks the first partnership between JetBlue – the largest domestic airline at America’s “Gateway to the World,” New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport – and a carrier based in the rapidly-expanding Chinese market.
Air China and JetBlue will initially offer interline connections between their networks at New York/JFK as well as at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Tickets are expected to go on sale later this summer. Subject to government approval, Air China this autumn plans to enter into a codeshare with JetBlue and place its “CA” designator on flights operated by JetBlue.
“We are pleased to announce this exciting new partnership here in Air China’s hometown,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s president and chief executive officer. “The Chinese market continues to be a key portion of the global economy, and so we look forward to connecting business and leisure travellers between both of these well-developed networks.”
Mr. Jianjiang Cai, Air China’s president and CEO added, “The partnership with JetBlue creates many connecting opportunities at Air China’s two strategically important U.S. gateways, New York and Los Angeles. It strengthens both our networks and benefits travelers of both countries.”
Air China offers one daily flight from New York and two daily flights from Los Angeles to Beijing Capital International Airport. In addition, separate from the JetBlue interline, the airline flies once-daily from San Francisco and Vancouver to Beijing.
The carrier’s LAX flights are operated aboard the brand new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which will also be deployed on the JFK route effective October 1, 2012. The “triple seven” features eight Forbidden Pavilion First Class luxury suites, 41 Capital Pavilion Business Class flat beds and 259 economy seats with individual monitors and AVOD (audio-video-on-demand) entertainment system.
Through Beijing Capital International Airport– Asia’s busiest airport – travellers can access countless other cities across China including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Guilin, Chongqing, Fuzhou, and Nanjing, plus many other vibrant destinations across the Asia Pacific region including Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Manila, Delhi, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur.
U.S.-bound travelers can enjoy easy connections from Air China’s Beijing flights onto JetBlue flights destined for cities including Boston, Massachusetts; Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and multiple destinations in Florida including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.
Known for its award-winning customer service, JetBlue offers travellers a premium experience that includes all-leather seating, unlimited free snacks and drinks, plus the most legroom in economy class (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as the most free live entertainment of any U.S. airline. JetBlue also operates one of America’s youngest and most fuel-efficient airline fleets, with 172 Airbus and EMBRAER aircraft.
Fliers traveling to Asia in Air China’s first and business class can now reserve at the time of booking a complimentary chauffeured BMW sedan transfer from the airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to any destination in these cities. In addition, a bilingual Chinese-English Air China agent is on hand to meet and greet the traveler at the gate upon arrival in Beijing and assist him or her through immigration, baggage claim and customs all the way to the main exit at the arrival level for ground transportation.