Beijing Capital Airlines, a regional subsidiary of HNA Group (a TAP Portugal shareholder), is launching the first direct air route between China and Portugal on July 26. The flight will operate three times a week between Hangzhou and Lisbon, with a stopover in Beijing.
The route has been a long-
standing objective of both governments and it was previously announced during last year’s visit to China and Macau by Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa.
Beijing Capital Airlines intends to run the flight four times a week, which has yet to be approved by Chinese aviation authorities.
The Beijing-based carrier said in a statement that it will operate the Hangzhou-Beijing-Lisbon service using the Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which seats up to around 400 passengers.
According to Ctrip, a Chinese travel services provider, the flight costs around MOP7,500, including the return trip.
The flight is expected to boost Chinese tourism in Portugal. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, China continues to lead international outbound tourism, followed by the US, Germany, the UK and France as the top five spenders.
In 2016, the number of outbound travelers from China increased 6 percent to 135 million in 2016. The growth strengthens China’s position as the top source market in the world since 2012, following a trend of double-digit growth in tourism expenditure every year since 2004.