British Airways today launched its latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner on its direct service between London and Chengdu in China's Sichuan Province, while also increasing frequency on the route from three to five flights per week.
The British Airways 787 Dreamliner arrived at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport from London Heathrow this morning. Keith Williams, British Airways’ Executive Chairman was on board the inaugural flight for the landmark occasion. It is the first time a 787 Dreamliner used for international direct flight service connected to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, one of China’s fastest growing hub airports.
Specially invited guests and local media were invited to attend a “Best of British” champagne celebration on board British Airways’ newest and technically advanced long-haul aircraft, to mark its arrival to Chengdu from London.
The launch event began with a very special live performance by the award winning mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE. Jenkins wearing a beautiful white gown by acclaimed British designer Suzanne Neville, performed the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah” and “Amazing Grace” to special guests and local media from the flower-adorned steps of British Airways' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest musical exports, Jenkins is credited for making classical music more accessible around the world. She has previously performed with operatic legends Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, José Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Keith Williams then welcomed guests and media to join him on board the
Dreamliner for a tour of the state-of-the-art aircraft, while enjoying authentic British breakfast delicacies, served by British Airways ambassadors.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ Executive Chairman said “I am very pleased to be able to deliver on our promise to our customers in Chengdu with the arrival of our new Boeing 787 Dreamliner today. Chengdu is one of the first destinations on our global network to be served by the new aircraft”.
"The Dreamliner is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency, and I'm sure our customers in Chengdu will love it. This state-of-the-art aircraft will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years, part of a £5 billion (approximately RMB52 billion) investment programme to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground”.
Li Wei, Chairman of Sichuan Province Airport Group said “We openly welcome British Airways’ Dreamliner as well as the increase in the direct flights between Chengdu and London. These developments not only show the capabilities and importance of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport as an aviation hub in China, but also facilitates the growing co-operation between Sichuan and the UK in business, trade and technology”.
Katherine Jenkins said, “I was delighted to be invited by British Airways to perform on board their stunning 787 Dreamliner in Chengdu for this very special launch. British Airways is one of Britain’s best brands and I’m proud to support their growth, Chengdu seems like an amazing city and I sincerely hope to return to perform here again in the near future”.
Guests departed British Airways celebratory aircraft launch with a selection of gifts, provided by luxury department store, Harrods.
British Airways has been using a Boeing 777-200 on the thrice weekly service since the route’s highly publicised launch in September last year.