All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's second biggest airline, is to
operate charter flights between Chinese and Japanese cities from
August to November when the two countries mark a diplomatic
"Visiting groups of tourists and business people can order this
service as this year could see more exchange activities between the
two countries," said Ohashi Yoji, chairman of ANA.
To mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic
ties between China and Japan, China and Japan plan to hold cultural
and sports exchange activities this year, including marathons in
Beijing and Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China.
"The number of charter flights are under governmental
discussion," he said.
ANA figures show the number of people flying between China and
Japan is increasing at an almost double-digit rate each year. The
number last year totaled 4.5 million.
During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan from April 11 to 13,
the two governments agreed to allow flights between Tokyo's Haneda
Airport and Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport.
ANA, which began flying to China in 1987, has 20 flights from
Japan to 10 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong
Kong. The number of Chinese taking ANA flights reached 1.36 million
in 2006, a 13-fold increase over 20 years.
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2007)