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China Southern Airlines launches non-stop service to Toronto

By NA LI in TORONTO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-09 08:45

A Boeing 777-300ER landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport at 4:30 pm on Dec 7 — the inaugural non-stop flight between Guangzhou and Toronto operated by China Southern Airlines, the largest airline in China.

"It's big news. We are very pleased to see China Southern Airlines commence operations to Toronto," W. David Wilson, chairman of the board of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), told China Daily.

"The flight route is important for us. With a fleet of over 600 aircraft, serving over 200 destinations from its hub in Guangzhou, passengers will now be able to travel from Toronto to virtually every city in China and Australasia," said Craig Bradbrook, vice-president of aviation services at GTAA. "And conversely, we look forward to welcoming many businesspeople, students and tourists who are able to travel to Toronto through Guangzhou."

Bradbrook recalled his visit to Guangzhou last year when he was presented with a model of a China Southern aircraft. "I very gratefully accepted it, but jokingly said that I would prefer to see the real aircraft in Toronto. Today I can," he said.

Able to accommodate 309 passengers in a four-class configuration, the new service operates three times weekly and will be the first commercial service between South China and Toronto. It is the second route operated by China Southern Airlines to Canada; the airline also operates direct service between Guangzhou and Vancouver.

"We now are operating the service (three times a week); we hope to increase the flight frequency to five days a week in 2017 and daily by 2018," said Han Wensheng, vice-president of China Southern Airlines.

Located in the heart of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone in South China, Guangzhou has been a powerhouse of manufacturing and Chinese exports for more than 30 years.

"Guangzhou is an economic and tourism center in South China," said Zhang Zifang, COO of China Southern Airlines. "Toronto is the main destination for tourists and immigration from southern China, The two cities have witnessed more increased exchanges and connection. I'm fully confident that the direct flight can build a sky bridge between the two sides."

China Southern Airlines and WestJet have signed a code-sharing agreement to assist arriving Toronto passengers flying to other major Canadian cities, including Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary.


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