The first direct flights from mainland China to Las Vegas will take off in December 2016, it has been revealed.
Hainan Airlines has confirmed that it will start operating its new trans-Pacific route between Beijing and Nevada’s “Sin City” on 2 December. This follows the US Department of Transportation’s decision, taken on 12 September, to allow the airline to proceed with its plans.
Following the launch date, flights will operate three times a week, departing Beijing’s Capital International Airport every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1330 and arriving at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport at 0940 the same day, having crossed the International Date Line.
The return service will leave Las Vegas at 1140 on the same days of the week, arriving back in the Chinese capital at 1640 the next day.
Hainan Airlines will deploy its two-class 213-seat Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on the route, which includes 36 flat-bed seats in the premium cabin.
Las Vegas will become Hainan Airlines’ sixth US destination, following Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.
The US gaming hub is already a popular draw for Chinese visitors, and the development of a series of new Asia-focused attractions will only enhance its appeal. The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is expected to open later this year, offering an array Asian offerings along with Chinese signage and staff. And Genting Hong Kong is also developing a Chinese-themed integrated resort, Resorts World Las Vegas, which expected to open in 2019.
A staggering 42.3 million people visited Las Vegas in 2015, 73% of whom gambled during their stay.
Hainan Airlines won’t be the first Asian airline in Las Vegas however; Korean Air already flies direct to the city from Seoul.