HOUSTON The Houston Airport System announced Tuesday a historic partnership with Air China for nonstop flights from Houston to Beijing.

With its vibrant business communities and fast-growing diverse population, Houston is a perfect choice for an additional gateway for Air China. It offers the most convenient connections to China and beyond for our passengers from Texas and other neighboring states, said Dr. Zhihang Chi, Air China s Vice President and General Manager for North America via a news release.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said the city is honored to be the newest global gateway for China.

This new direct route to China will ensure our success in growing the Texas regional economy and strengthen the global ties to our trade partners in China, she said.

The Chinese consulate is holding a reception Tuesday night to celebrate the partnership with Air China, the world s largest airline.

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