Air China will be keen to expand its presence in Latin America if airframers develop an aircraft for it to do so efficiently.
The carrier’s vice president for North America Zhihang Chi says the airline is still waiting for an aircraft to allow it to fly non-stop from China to a hub airport in Latin America.
“We are waiting for our Boeing friends to develop an aircraft which we can use [to do that],” Chi says at Routes Americas in San Salvador. “The challenge has always been, how to serve Latin America profitably.”
The only South American city in Air China’s network is Sao Paulo, which it serves via Madrid. However, Chi says: “We are not exactly sure whether that’s been a commercially successful venture… I would call it an adventure.”
The carrier was operating three times a week between the two cities but now flies only twice a week, he adds. “It’s been going up and down.”
“We have keen interest in this region,” Chi says. “But right now, our strategy is to serve with our airline partners, both in Star and also others on an interline basis,” says Chi.