Canada welcomes inaugural China Southern flight
June 15, 2011, Vancouver - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, and Vancouver Airport Authority president and CEO Larry Berg today welcomed the inaugural China Southern Airlines flight between Guangzhou, China, and Vancouver.
The China Southern Airlines service will run three times weekly between Vancouver and Guangzhou, the capital of China's most populous province, Guangdong. This is Canada's first and only non-stop flight to Guangzhou.
This new service further strengthens Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and will afford Canadians living in British Columbia and nationally more choices for international travel to China. The service, along with Canada's Approved Destination Status from China, will contribute to the national economy and create more opportunities for the Chinese to visit Canada.
"Our government received a strong mandate to strengthen our economy and create jobs. This new service will provide economic growth and more convenience to travellers and companies alike, from our two countries," Minister Bernier said. "Having Approved Destination Status allows us to share our unique business and travel experiences with China."
"This announcement will benefit Canadians by providing greater choice for travel between both countries and has the potential to have significant economic impact for tourism in Canada, given the size of the Guangzhou market," added Minister Bernier.
China Southern Airlines is the largest airline in Asia, and Guangzhou Airport, located in Guangdong province on the Pearl River Delta, serves more than 330 million people. Guangdong province's foreign trade accounts for more than a quarter of China's total, and it enjoys the country's highest provincial per capita gross domestic product. The new service is not only a new airline for Vancouver International Airport, but will also benefit tourism in Canada.
"The addition of China Southern's new service is another sign of the importance of travel, tourism, trade and cultural connections between B.C. and Asia," said Premier Christy Clark. "British Columbia is Canada's Pacific Gateway and now global companies such as China Southern are connecting to the world through B.C. The new air service means more jobs for B.C. families not only at YVR but also through our province as new business opportunities are created."
China Southern Airlines' service three times a week is estimated to generate significant employment, producing $2.2 million in wages and contributing $3.5 millionto British Columbia's gross domestic product annually. With more than 23,600 people working on Sea Island, Vancouver International Airport is one of British Columbia's key economic and employment generators. As the closest major North American airport to Asia, it has more frequencies to China than any other airport on the continent.
"I commend China Southern on its choice to expand its international network to Canada, and to capitalize on the trade and travel opportunities available here in B.C.," said Mr. Berg. "Offering expanded air service to China is a key objective for the Airport Authority as we continue to develop YVR as a premier global gateway to Asia."
This announcement reflects the priorities of the partners in Canada's Pacific Gateway that are aimed at making it the best transportation network between North America and Asia. To date, the Government of Canada has partnered with all four western provinces, as well as with municipalities and the private sector, to announce strategic infrastructure projects worth over $3.5 billion, including federal contributions of over $1.4 billion.