Travelers between Shanghai, an east China metropolis, and London will have more choices as a regular direct flight between the two cities became operational Thursday.
This is the second air route linking Shanghai with Europe that is operated by China Eastern Airlines, following the Shanghai- Paris flight.
Airbus A340-600s and A340-300s of China Eastern Airlines will fly the air route on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, sources with the company said.
Planes will leave at 03:30 GMT (13:30 Beijing Time) from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and arrive at London Heathrow Airport at 18:50 GMT. The return flight will take off at 21:20 GMT and arrive in Shanghai at 07:45 (15:45 Beijing Time).
About 250,000 passengers travel by air between China and UK annually, and many of them are business people and students. Shanghai is an important port for Chinese students heading for other countries and so far roughly 80,000 students went abroad from Shanghai.
The Shanghai-based Eastern Airlines now boasts more than 100 Airbus and Boeing planes, flying over 50 international air routes and 150-plus domestic air routes.
(Eastday.com April 2, 2004)