SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Flights between San Jose and Shanghai were launched Thursday that will link two high-tech cities, airport officials said.

The trips operated by Air China will be offered on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Mineta San Jose International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

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The first flight from Shanghai arrived Thursday morning in San Jose where it was welcomed by Mayor Sam Liccardo, Aviation Director Kim Becker, Consul General of China in San Francisco Luo Linquan and Air China executives, airport officials said.

There were also lion dancers in colorful costumes at the arrivals gate area for international flights, according to airport officials.

“We congratulate Air China on inaugurating nonstop service between San Jose and Shanghai today, and for marking an additional milestone in launching its first flight from Shanghai to North America, via Silicon Valley’s airport,” Liccardo said in a statement.

“Our technology companies have enthusiastically asked for this nonstop service, and I know through their support this flight to China’s major center of commerce will be a success,” Liccardo said.

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The nonstop service will be made on a modern Airbus A330-200 with 237 seats divided between 30 full flat bed seats and 207 economy seats, airport officials said.

The new connection marks Air China’s 10th stop in North America and Mineta San Jose’s eighth international nonstop destination, according to airport officials.

“Shanghai ranked in the top five most requested international business destinations by Silicon Valley travelers in a corporate survey conducted by SJC’s community partners, and our community is delighted this flight is now offered at SJC,” Becker said in a statement.

“Air China’s new service is expected to bring an estimated $65 million annually in economic investment to the San Jose area,” Becker said.

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