Air China's Chengdu-Frankfurt international route resumed. (Photo:CGTN)
Chengdu to Frankfurt direct flights re-opened on Thursday. This is the first direct flight from cities in central and western China to Europe since the "Five one" policy has been issued by CAAC because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Every Thursday, an Airbus A330-200 long-range aircraft, run by Air China, which can carry 227 passengers will depart from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 12:35 Bst. It will arrive at Frankfurt Airport at 17:20 local time on the same day. The flight then will then leave Frankfurt Airport at 20:00 local time, and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 11:50 Beijing time the next day.
The crew used the Chinese national flag to decorate the cabin on the first flight, with 182 passengers on board when it returned to China.
An Air China aircraft (Photo:CGTN)
Air China has been playing an important role in supporting Belt and Road Initiative, and the resumption of the Chengdu-Frankfurt flight has reconnected western China with Europe and re-energized the trade and economic ties.
Previously, Lufthansa has resumed Frankfurt-Shanghai flights, as well as the Frankfurt-Nanjing route. The number of weekly flights between Frankfurt and Shanghai has been expanded to two since July 27 this year.
In the meantime, China's civil aviation market is recovering, in July, the total flight hours have increased by over 13 percent quarter-to-quarter. The number may further increase during the summer holidays. The number of international flights is also rising. According to CAAC, China has a regular direct flight to 50 countries now.
"As of August 12, a total of 93 airlines, including 19 domestic airlines, 74 foreign airlines, are operating 187 regular international routes that connect China with the rest of the world. Every week 210 regular international flights connect China with 50 countries. Twenty countries more than during the virus outbreak," said Wu Shijie, Deputy Director of Office of Aviation Safety from CAAC on Thursday.
And according to Hong Kong airport, passengers departing from Chinese mainland airport from August 15 to October 15, 2020 will be able to connect/transit through the Hong Kong International Airport to other destinations. However, transit/transit services to Chinese mainland destinations remain suspended.