Beijing Capital Airlines plans to launch regular flights between Xi’an and Lisbon with a stop in Beijing on 30 August, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Internationalisation, Eurico Brilhante Dias, said on Monday in Lisbon.
The new connection, announced last June, will start with three flights per week, replacing the previous one between Hangzhou, on China’s east coast, and Lisbon, with a stopover in Beijing, which was suspended in October 2018, and operated by Airbus A330 aircraft, with a maximum capacity of 440 passengers.
During the ceremony, the president of Portuguese tourism agency Turismo de Portugal, Luís Araújo, noted the importance of the Portugal-China partnership, adding that 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the official establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
He also recalled that in 2018 Portugal received more than 315,000 Chinese tourists, an average annual growth over the last three years of 25%, which is a driver for an “increasingly close” relationship with China, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.
In the first year, it flew to Portugal, Beijing Capital Airlines, a low-cost arm of Hainan Airlines, carried more than 80,000 passengers, according to company figures, with an average load factor of 80% in the weaker months, while in the high season it exceeded 95%. (Macauhub)