Air China recently announced that its southwest branch is scheduled to start a non-stop flight service on the route linking Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, and Tokyo on April 3, 2011.
The country's flag carrier said the new service will be operated twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, using Boeing 757 or Airbus A319 aircraft. Outbound flights will depart Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on 11:30 and arrive at Tokyo Narita International Airport at 17:00. Return flights will leave Tokyo at 18:20 and arrive in Chengdu at 22:40 local time.
Flight times are expected to be around four and a half hours and passengers from Chengdu will no longer have to transfer in Beijing. Many tourists are flying to Japan to view the cherry blossom, and the carrier will offer preferential air tickets for the sakura season.