People in northwest China's Shaanxi Province and neighboring areas will be able to travel more easily to some foreign destinations, thanks to China Eastern Airlines' airway extension efforts.
The company, or CEA in short, officially extended its eight international air routes from Pudong Airport in Shanghai to Xi'an, the provincial capital, on Friday, according to the Beijing-based newspaper China Daily.
The eight routes lead to Paris, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Delhi.
"It will mean the passengers can also enjoy cheaper prices without paying airport construction fees and extra fuel fees from Xi'an to Shanghai, and the same applies to those coming from abroad to Xi'an," CEA President Li Fenghua was quoted as saying by the paper.
Li said CEA considers Xi'an as the most important hub in Northwest China, with rapid economic development and major requirement of air transportation. He added that the airline, one of the biggest in China, planned to open direct international air routes from Xi'an to the eight foreign cities, if the new extended routes proved successful.
Sun Qingyun, mayor of Xi'an, welcomed the move, which he said would promote development for Xi'an. It currently has 25 international air routes, listed fourth behind Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Xi'an, with more than 3,100 years of history, is one of the biggest tourism destinations in China.
(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2006)