Chinese airline begins charter flights to deliver Northwest cherries to Asia

Staff writerJune 10, 2014 

Washington Daily Life

Jesus Calderon spreads a water-soaked foam cover on a just-picked bin of organic Chelan cherries near Granger, Wash., on June 10, 2014. The covers keep the cherries cool as they are transported to the packing house.

GORDON KING — Yakima Herald-Republic

One of China's largest airlines, China Eastern, Wednesday will launch the first of several weekly flights that will carry fresh Northwest cherries to China for sale.

The first flight is expected to deliver more than 50 metric tons of cherries from Sea-Tac to Shanghai.

The weekly flights are expected to continue for several weeks as the cherries are harvested.

The "Northwest American Cherry Charter" is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture effort to bring fresh American food products to China.  That same effort will fly milk and cheese from California and king crab and salmon from Alaska to China.

China Eastern is one of the three largest airlines in China. The airline has a fleet of more than 430 aircraft flying more than 80 million travelers annually. The airline flies to 1,000 cities in 187 countries from its Shanghai hub.

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