The direct air link between China and Portugal is due to begin in June 2017 with three to four flights a week, according to the protocol signed between the Portuguese Tourism Agency (Turismo de Portugal) and the HNA group.
HNA, a shareholder of the Azul airline controlled by businessman David Neeleman – one of the owners of Portuguese flagship airline TAP – obtained authorisation to launch a route to Portugal at the beginning of June this year.
Negotiations for a direct China-Portugal link involved a partnership between three Portuguese entities – Turismo de Portugal, airport manager ANA and the Lisbon Tourism Association (ATL), Turismo de Portugal said.
The number of Chinese tourists who visited Portugal from January to July 2016 recorded an annual increase of 21.6%, rising from 87,000 to almost 106,000. (macauhub)