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MIA to welcome first nonstop flight from Asia — but no scheduled service yet

The nose of a Boeing 777-300 of China Airlines is silhouetted in the sky at the Paris Air Show, June 16, 2015.
The nose of a Boeing 777-300 of China Airlines is silhouetted in the sky at the Paris Air Show, June 16, 2015. AP

Miami International Airport will welcome the first nonstop flight from Asia at about noon Friday, another step in the airport’s bid to offer direct flights to the region.

While the chartered flight bringing Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen doesn’t signal regular service, it is still a possible indicator of how the long-distance flights could work, said Greg Chin, a spokesman for MIA.

The airport already has capacity for a Boeing B777-300ER, the aircraft that will make the 8,628-mile, 16 1/2-hour nonstop trip from Taipei, said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. Still pending is the green light to fly to destinations in Asia on a regular schedule.

“We are geographically the farthest point from Asia in the United States. Not every aircraft can make it,” González said. “I’m hopeful that we will get something to Asia in the next 24 months. I think the president’s visit will put a spotlight on this community and what it offers, and I think we should be able to move things along.”

I’m hopeful that we will get something to Asia in the next 24 months.

Emilio T. González, Miami-Dade Aviation Director

Tsai will stay in Miami for a day meeting with local Taiwanese business leaders before going to Panama for the opening of the new Panama Canal.

Earlier this month, Asia’s largest international airline by passengers, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., announced it was considering a proposal from Airbus Group SE for a larger version of the newest A350 wide-body model that could potentially allow for a nonstop, direct flight between Miami and Hong Kong.

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