China’s Hainan Airlines plans to begin non-stop, four-times-weekly service from Chicago to Beijing on September 3, 2013.
Mainland China’s only certified Skytrax five-star airline will operate two-class Airbus A330-200 widebodies on the service, which will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with departure and arrival times allowing for convenient connections from points throughout the United States.
The new flight will complement the carrier’s existing North American services to Beijing from Toronto Pearson International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Hainan Airlines’ flight HU498 will depart Chicago O’Hare International Airport (IATA code ORD) at 3:30 p.m. and arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) – which is about to become the world’s busiest airport in terms of passengers handled annually – at 6:40 p.m. the following day, local time.
In the other direction, flight HU497 will depart PEK at 1:20 p.m. and land at ORD at 1:30 p.m. the same day, local time.
Connections to and from points throughout China are also possible, according to Hainan Airlines. Cargo service will be offered.
“Since we began our Seattle route in June 2008, hundreds of thousands of people have experienced the award-winning service Hainan Airlines provides between the United States and China,” said Ji Chun Liu, director of Hainan Airlines’ International Department. “Now we are looking forward to welcoming even more travelers from Chicago and throughout the eastern United States.”
Business class passengers are offered priority check-in and access to the lounge. On board, Hainan Airlines’ business class cabin offers flat bed seats and turn-down service complete with fluffy pillows, cotton sheets and a duvet, pajamas and slippers.
Gourmet Chinese or Western cuisine and wines are served on fine china, glassware and linens; customers may choose when they wish to dine. Freshly brewed espresso and a selection of teas are available. Amenity kits feature Bulgari cosmetics. The in-flight entertainment system offers over 100 movies, audio selections and games on demand.
At Beijing, with advance reservations, premium-class passengers are offered complimentary private Mercedes-Benz limousine service both on arrival and departure. Those making connections to other Chinese destinations may use the airline’s new business class lounge in Terminal 1 at Beijing Capital International Airport.
Economy class passengers are offered complimentary beverages, meals and snacks and their seats have the same state-of-the-art entertainment system on individual seat-back screens. If connecting in Beijing, a transit lounge is open to economy class passengers.