Gov. Bill Walker says he's working on establishing Anchorage as a pass-through route to China for passenger flights. The goal is to bring an influx of tourists to the state and enable new business opportunities, Walker's office said in a statement. 

Transportation Commissioner Mark Luiken is working to convince air carriers flying existing routes from China to the Lower 48 to stop in Anchorage along the way to avoid more crowded West Coast airports, according to the governor's office. 

"Many conversations under way now are aimed at achieving direct flight connections, and progress may become visible during a trade mission to China that Governor Walker will be leading this spring," a press secretary for Walker wrote. 

Earlier this month, Walker appointed Jim Szczesniak as the new manager of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

"His expertise in airport development and aviation planning will be an asset for the State, particularly in initiatives like this one,” Walker's office said. 

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