Las Vegas may potentially get around three weekly direct flights from China, which would help the region secure better Mainland Chinese visitation, frequency and length of stay.
According to a note from Union Gaming on Friday, conservative estimates suggest around 300,000 Chinese travelers are already visiting Las Vegas annually, arriving from other cities first.
Recently, the Civil Aviation Administration of China approved Hainan Airlines to operate three direct weekly flights from Beijing to Las Vegas.
“The approval is a major first step in potentially bringing even more Chinese carriers to Las Vegas,” said Union Gaming, who notes that the US Department of Transportation has yet to make the approval.
“The fact that Beijing would approve direct flights to a city known (perhaps erroneously) for gambling can only be interpreted positively.”
Hainan Airlines is expected to use its 213 seat, 787 passenger jet, which at full capacity, means 33,000 inbound Chinese passengers at full capacity.
“First, direct flights would allow Chinese travelers to spend more time in Las Vegas and ultimately spend more money. Second, incremental flights and carriers would likely follow suit after the first three flights begin. We believe the first direct flights into Las Vegas could just be the tip of the iceberg as it relates to direct service between Las Vegas and China,” the brokerage said.