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Non-Stop Service to Far East Tops Priority List


June 1, 2011

© Houston Airport System
Mayor Annise Parker and aviation director Mario C. Diaz have both stressed the importance of expanding the number of non-stop flights between Houston and the Far East.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker says adding new non-stop flights between Houston and China is a top priority at both City Hall and the Houston Airport System.

During the annual State of the City event in April, Mayor Parker reiterated to members of the media the importance of launching new non-stop service between Houston and Chinese destinations.

Mayor Parker says the new flights represent a vital piece of an overall strategy aimed at increasing trade with the world’s most populous country.

“We continue to engage in inbound and outbound trade missions to China, working to increase trade and to have businesses move here,” Mayor Parker said. “In regards to new air service, we’re working on a direct level with the airport.”

That partnership has already led Mayor Parker and Houston aviation director Mario C. Diaz to personally visit key decision-makers in China, in an effort to highlight the growth opportunities available in the Houston market.

Parker and Diaz recently traveled together on a trade mission to Chonquing, a major city in central China with a population of approximately 32 million people. The purpose of the visit was to facilitate the signing of a cooperation agreement which would coordinate an exchange of aviation knowledge and eventually establish direct flights between the two cities.

“We each have so much to gain from the sharing of knowledge between our two cities,” says Mayor Parker. “Houston has so much to offer, but we will also learn about ways to improve our own processes to achieve best practices in the industry so travelers will have a great experience and want to come back. It’s a win-win.”

And the outreach effort will become even more intense as the year moves forward. Diaz has several trips to the Far East scheduled for 2011, including visits to South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, as well as a return trip to China.

“It’s just a matter of time before we grow air service to parts of the world that are opening to more visitors,” Diaz says. “And the strength of our relationships will be the difference between Houston getting the air service or one of our competitors.” 
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