China Eastern is now flying direct between Nanjing and Vancouver, offering a three-times-weekly service between Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

The Nanjing service is China Eastern’s latest direct route to the Canadian city – its first, a daily service from Shanghai, began in 2004. As with its Shanghai flights, the new Nanjing-Vancouver service will carry on to Kunming.

Speaking about the new route, which launched on December 20, YVR president and CEO Craig Richmond said: “We want to thank our long-standing partner, China Eastern, for choosing YVR to introduce this new connection between Vancouver and Nanjing, a renowned Chinese historical epicentre and a key economic hub. This is another exciting first for YVR – offering passengers the only non-stop access to Nanjing in all of Canada.”

China Eastern’s new service is operated by an Airbus A330-200, flying on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. MU215 departs Nanjing at 1400 and arrives in Vancouver that morning at 0830, while the return MU216 flight departs Vancouver at 1030 and arrives the following early afternoon at 1455.

Details of the new service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
MU215 NKG YVR 1400 0830 Tue, Thu, Sun
MU216 YVR NKG 1030 1455+1

In addition to tourism, the new route is expected to boost business and trade opportunities between British Columbia and Jiangsu province. “As we expand our trade network into China’s mid-sized cities, direct transportation connections like this one will play a major role in driving two-way trade and partnerships,” said Teresa Wat, British Columbia’s Minister of International Trade and Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism. “It will also help us build on the MOU [memorandum of understanding] between British Columbia and the Jiangsu provincial government aimed at strengthening trade ties and growing the technology sector in both provinces.”

China Eastern has been expanding its international network in recent months. Along with the new Vancouver route, the Chinese carrier also launched services between Brisbane and Shanghai last month. Meanwhile, in November 2016 China Eastern also began flying Kunming-Sydney and in September Kunming-San Francisco via Qingdao.