BEIJING, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Air China Limited (hereinafter referred to as "Air China") will commence nonstop Chengdu- Frankfurt service on May 19, 2013. The new service will cement Chengdu's position as southwestern China's air transportation hub and offer a faster and more economic option for travelers between southwestern China and Europe. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080625/CNW017LOGO) Chengdu, the capital of a province widely known as China's breadbasket, is a southwestern Chinese city with huge growth potential. Recent years have seen a continuous uptick in the number of outbound travelers from Chengdu and other southwestern neighboring cities like Lhasa, Kunming and Xi'an who leave China via Chengdu. Currently, passengers who travel between Chengdu and other southwestern regions and Germany have to transfer in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, and the whole journey takes at least 15 hours. The opening of the new Chengdu- Frankfurt nonstop service will make Chengdu the third Mainland China city with direct air links to Frankfurt. The whole flight takes just 10 hours, which represents a significant cut in travel time. This faster service will be another driver of the fast growth in tourism and economy of southwestern China. Chengdu is Air China's important regional hub of operations in southwestern China and is served by Air China's over 62 domestic, international and regional routes. It is part of the carrier's world-spanning route network alongside Beijing which is the main hub and Shanghai which is an international gateway. Frankfurt is Europe's second largest air transportation hub and the German gateway to the world. It is served by over 260 air routes. It is also home to Star Alliance Headquarters and Air China Europe Regional Headquarters. With the new Chengdu- Frankfurt service, it is not only easier to travel between the two cities and the two countries, but also to benefit from the extensive network of the Star Alliance -- with the Star Alliance, Air China's passengers can easily access 1356 destinations in 193 countries and regions. The three-times weekly service, CA431/432, will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight time is approximately 10 hours. The flight leaves Chengdu at 01:30 and arrives in Frankfurt at 06:10 on the same day. The return flight is expected to take off from Frankfurt at 14:00 and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 05:40 the next day. Such flight schedules are meant to make it easier for passengers to access their connecting flights in Frankfurt and Chengdu after arrival. The A330-200 features personal AVOD in all classes of service and lie-flat seats in the Business Class. About Air China :China's only national flag carrier, Air China also offers special flights to state leaders on their official visit to foreign countries. It is a Star Alliance member carrier. It owns a fleet of 432 passenger aircraft and freighters of mainly Boeing and Airbus families (including those of the carriers which Air China has a majority stake in) and operates more than 280 routes serving 30 countries and regions. Banking on the strong route network of the Star Alliance, Air China can take passengers to 1,356 destinations in 193 countries. Air China appeals very much to business travelers. The membership of PhoenixMiles, Air China's customer loyalty program, has exceeded 25 million. For more, head to Air China's official website www.airchina.com.