A direct flight linking Fuzhou, capital city of East China’s Fujian province, with New York in the United States is likely to be launched by the end of this year, according to Straits News.
Speculation on the opening of the flight by China Eastern Airlines (CEA) got off the ground on China’s social media network on Aug 17, with a whistleblower who claimed to be from the civil aviation industry even coming up with a preliminary schedule for the flight.
The exposure was denied by CEA in an interview with the newspaper. But the latter wrote in an Aug 18 report that it has learnt CEA and Fuzhou have agreed to launch the much-anticipated flight, which stops over in Shanghai, sometime this year.
CEA and Fuzhou’s development and reform commission held negotiations on July 21, finalizing many details including the opening of the flight by the end of this year, said the newspaper.
On July 22, Yang Yue, Fuzhou’s Party secretary and Yang Yimin, mayor of Fuzhou, held a meeting with CEA’s managers and discussed the matter, it added.
According to the leaked schedule, the maiden flight of MU588 is set for November 19, taking off from New York at 4:25 am and will touch down at Fuzhou Airport at 10:30 pm. The opposite flight starts at 7:35 am on Nov 20 and arrives in New York at 2:25 am next day. Four flights have been arranged every week, flying the New York-Fuzhou route on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the opposite direction on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The whistleblower also said the flight will use a Boeing 777-300ER or an Airbus A340-500 aircraft.
However the information cannot be confirmed for now by the newspaper.
There are more than 500,000 Fuzhou immigrants in New York State, according to earlier media reports.
Currently New York-bound passengers from Fuzhou have had to transfer flights in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai or Beijing.