May 03, 2016: José “Pepe” Diaz, County commissioner, Miami-Dade and Ken Pyatt, director, Miami-Dade Deputy Aviation led a business development mission on April 11 to April 23 to mainland China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), which included productive meetings with three of China’s leading passenger airlines.
They visited the cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou in China, as well as Taipei, Taiwan, to meet with officials from China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines to discuss the potential for nonstop passenger service between Miami International Airport and China. China has four of the world’s busiest airports and the fastest-growing airport worldwide – Shanghai, at 16 percent in 2015, according to Airports Council International’s 2015 preliminary world airport traffic rankings.
In 2015, the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions had two of the highest growth rates globally, according to the International Air Transport Association, with traffic growing by nine and eight percent, respectively. Additionally, passenger demand between Asia and the Latin American/Caribbean region has risen 55 percent in the last five years, up to 1,834,300 passengers in 2014. MIA continues to provide more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other US airport.
“This joint trip with Commissioner Diaz and the International Trade Consortium was a landmark event in our ongoing pursuit of nonstop passenger service to Asia,” said Emilio T. González, director, Miami-Dade Aviation. “The renewed interest by these Chinese airlines is very promising, and we look forward to continuing our discussions. There are now a number of strong prospects for the first Asia-Miami passenger route.”