Residents of China may be in for a nice surprise in the near future, as Hainan Airlines has just recently filed an application in hopes of running as many as three direct flight per week, straight to Las Vegas. The plan is for flights to depart between Beijing, and McCarran International Airport.
As there are currently no direct flights from China to Las Vegas, this will certainly benefit Chinese nationals. It has been estimated that a minimum of 300,000 travel to Las Vegas on an annual basis, but are forced to land in other cities first. With direct flights, this number of travelers could increase to as much as 33,000 inbound visitors per year.
The idea has already been approved by China’s Civil Aviation Administration, while Hainan awaits a US Department of Transportation endorsement. If fully approved, the airline plans to use Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, complete with 213 seats.
According to statement released by Union Gaming, “The approval is a major first step in potentially bringing even more Chinese carriers to Las Vegas. The fact that Beijing would approve direct flights to a city known, perhaps erroneously, for gambling can only be interpreted positively.”
Also in the statement, “First, direct flights would allow Chinese travelers to spend more time in Las Vegas and ultimately spend more money. Second, incremental flights and carriers would likely follow suit after the first three flights begin. We believe the first direct flights into Las Vegas could just be the tip of the iceberg as it relates to direct service between Las Vegas and China.”