Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presents certificate to American Airlines
photo by Brian W. Carter
Ribbon Cutting photo by David Starkopf
(From Left to Right): Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO, Blair Taylor and wife, Bridgette Taylor
photo by Brian W. Carter
The airline becomes the first to fly from Los Angeles to Shanghai with daily, nonstop service.
By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
On Tues., April 5, American Airlines (AA) started a new service that will allow travelers nonstop, daily flights to Shanghai, China. This is all a part of a new service at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) through AA and regional affiliate, American Eagle (AE). The flight will will utilize the Boeing 777 with 247 seats with First Class, 16 seats, Business Class, 37 seats, and Economy Class, 194 seats.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented AA with a certificate and spoke on the landmark moment. “[One], I’m here because I love American Airlines, two, I’m here because I love LAX,” said Villaraigosa. “Each daily, nonstop flight generates $650 million dollars to the L.A. economy. “ The flights from the U.S. to Shanghai are the largest among the travel market. “So, for you Angelenos out there, this is a very good thing.”
AE will also be launching nine new, domestic flights from LAX, daily, throughout the U.S. Some of the new routes include: Albuquerque, Houston, Oklahoma City, and Phoenix. The AE flights will depart from LAX’s newest terminal and open up four additional gates by the end of the year.
“We’re here to celebrate, with good reason,” said Villaraigosa. “Despite the 9,000 miles between us, Los Angeles has always enjoyed a long and very strong relationship with Chinese people in the Republic of China.”
“Los Angeles is a key international gateway for American, as well as our oneworld partners,” said Derek DeCross, American’s Vice President – Sales. “Our focus is on providing customers with as many travel options as possible at LAX, and that’s what our moves today are all about. These new routes, along with our joint businesses with British Airways, Iberia and Japan Airlines, give customers more choices for flights, connections and ways to earn AAdvantage miles.”
“American’s flight from Los Angeles-Shanghai will not only benefit the people of our two countries, but also play a positive role in enhancing the friendship of our two peoples and promoting the economic and tourism cooperation between our two nations,” said Consul General Ambassador Qiu Shaofang of the People’s Republic of China to Los Angeles.
President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, Blair Taylor with his wife, Bridgette, will be making this historical flight from LAX. “I think it’s fantastic,” said Taylor. “To me, it’s another step in continuing to expand globalism here [in Los Angeles].”
As a part of AA’s initial flight delegation, Taylor was chosen to be a part of this momentous occasion. “It’s beyond just a flight, going back-and-forth and I’m really excited to be a part of it. It’s actually a great way of linking these two cities, connecting them at the hip. Congratulations to American for their foresight in putting this together.”
Pablo Ocasio, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Hampton Aerospace will also be onboard this groundbreaking trip to Shanghai on business. “It’s interesting, I didn’t expect a party for me,” he said jokingly. “It’s nice to see the Mayor, American Airlines, and the community are moving forward and investing in the local airport here with a marquee route to Shanghai.”