Sao Paulo, Brazil, 9 Jan – Brazilian airline Varig and Air China will begin codeshare flights between Beijing and Brazil’s two biggest cities via Germany in the coming months, it has been announced.
In a statement released Friday, the Brazilian national airline said the new routes to China would give better access to “important business centers such as Shanghai” and had been made possible after the signing of an accord with the Chinese flag flier in May 2004.
Varig’s codeshare flights from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo via Frankfurt to Beijing are the first between these cities offered by a Brazilian airline.
Varig’s commercial vice-chairman, Marcelo Bottini, said the new routes would boost business ties between the two nations and also ensure the development of Chinese tourism to Brazil.
The Beijing government approved a law in 2004 to allow the marketing of package holidays to Brazil. Cuba is the only other South American holiday destination approved by Beijing.
Chinese tourists are the world’s fifth-most numerous and it is expected that their visits to Brazil will rise from the current 14,000 to 100,000 by 2007.
Varig has also announced that from 14 Jan it will offer more connecting flights to Japan on routes to the United States and Europe with its partners in the Star Alliance – All Nippon Airways, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa. (Macauhub)