You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Business

Beijing-Logan flights are official

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made it official Wednesday that the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines will be offering nonstop service from Logan International Airport to Beijing starting June 20.

State officials have been vying for a direct route to China for years, and Patrick called the announcement a “significant milestone.”

Continue reading below

“Nonstop services from Boston to Beijing will open up new commercial and economic opportunities,” Patrick said in a statement.

This is the latest in a string of new direct routes to Asia and the Middle East negotiated by the Massachusetts Port Authority in the past two years with the aim of strengthening the state’s global economic ties and boosting Logan’s profile in air travel.

The China route has been particularly important to local tourism and business leaders. Last year, China ranked as the state’s fourth-largest foreign market, behind Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Massachusetts businesses sold $1.9 billion in merchandise to China in 2012.

During the same time, 150,000 visitors from China came to the state, a nearly 8 percent increase from 2011, lured by the region’s universities, medical centers, history, and shopping opportunities.

The direct flight between the two cities — expected to take 13 hours — will mean more visitors will come to Massachusetts and stay longer, supporters said.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week