Sichuan Airlines is inaugurating a direct line between Tel Aviv and Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in China, on September 26. The airline, which will run two weekly flights, on Sunday's and Thursdays, is offering an interesting gimmick in which passengers can continue on a connecting flight from Chengdu to Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou at no extra cost. Ticket prices will start at $600 for tourist class and $1,400 for business class. The company is represented in Israel by TAL Aviation.
The flights will use Airbus 330A airliners and later Airbus A350s. Some of the company's planes are colorfully designed, including decoration with the company's panda bear logo. The flight time will be eight hours and 20 minutes. Flights will take off from Tel Aviv at 3:25 PM and land in Chengdu at 6:00 AM on the following day. The return flight from Chengdu will take off at 2:15 AM and land in Tel Aviv at 7:35 AM on the same day. The flights will have 277 tourist class seats and 24 business class seats.
Commenting on the growth in passenger traffic between Tel Aviv and China, TAL Aviation president and CEO Gideon Thaler said, "It is true of both businesspeople and tourists going to China and the Far East. The company expects the inauguration of the new route to substantially boost the number of tourists from Asia to Israel, but also expects to see more families and tourists from Israel visiting China and the Far East."
There will now be three airlines operating direct flights between Tel Aviv and China: El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL); Hainan Airlines, which already operates flights to five destinations; and now Sichuan Airlines.
Sichuan Airlines, founded in 1986, has a network of flights with over 270 Chinese and international destinations. The company's fleet contains 130 airplanes, and it plans to add 50 more by the end of 2020.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 28, 2018
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