FAIRBANKS, Alaska - This past Monday, Governor Bill Walker and Heilongjiang Providence Governor Wang Wenta announced the launch of year round direct passenger flights between Alaska and Harbin, China. The Harbin Airport offers connections from Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and other Asian cities, which could in turn bring more visitors to Alaska.
Governor Bill Walker stated in a press release, "Direct flights will create economic boost to communities across our state akin to the cruise industry's impact on Coastal and Interior Alaska."
The deal follows negotiations that have been in the works for over a year, stemming from Chinese president's Xi Jinping's visit to Alaska in April 2017.
Negotiations are set to be in the final stages by the end of this year, so flights can take off by summer 2019.