1st direct flight to Bangalore launched

11:12, March 02, 2010      

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The Chengdu–Bangalore international air route officially commenced operation as a Boeing 757 flew from Chengdu Shuangliu Airport to India. This is Chengdu's 12th international and regional non-stop passenger flight, 13th international and regional non-stop flight, the first not-stop flight from Chengdu to India, and is also the first flight from China to India's "Silicon Valley" Bangalore.

Furthermore, the launch of this route will promote the economic and scientific cooperation between India and Chengdu, as well as other cities in China's western region.

Bridge between 2 "information cities"

Bangalore, located in southern India has a population of 7 million and is the country's leading industrial city and commercial center praised as India's "Silicon Valley," while Chengdu is an emerging IT city in China's central and western region. The newly-launched Chengdu–Bangalore air route will build a bridge for cooperation between these 2 cities, promote Chengdu-based IT-related industries such as software and service outsourcing industries, and bring new opportunities for the development of Chengdu's Information Industry.

Reporters learned that there had been 4 international routes before, the Beijing-Delhi route, Shanghai-Delhi route, Guangzhou-Delhi route, and the Kunming-Calcutta route. The Chengdu–Bangalore route offers the first not-stop flight from Chengdu to India, the first flight in China to Bangalore, and also Chengdu's 13th international (regional) non-stop flight, which will bring more passengers to Chengdu for airplane transfers and hence, promote the development of Chengdu's airline industry.

The 1-way flight takes nearly 5 hours

The Chengdu-Bangalore air route is occupied by Boeing 757 aircraft from Air China's southwest branch and the 1-way flight will take nearly 5 hours. 2 round-trip flights per week are available at present. Flight CA425, the 1-way flight will depart from Chengdu at 20:30 and arrive in Bangalore at 23:10 (local time), is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Flight CA426, the 1-way flight departing Bangalore at 00:20 (local time) and arriving in Chengdu at 07:20 is available on Thursdays and Sundays.

Air China now provides tickets at a discount, with the price of the 1-way and round-trip tickets standing at 1,800 yuan and 3,000 yuan respectively. Air China's southwest branch has dispatched experienced and qualified pilots to fly the route and relevant pilots have carefully studied the conditions of the Bangalore Airport and the characteristics and landforms along the route, paving the way for its opening.

According to marketing staff of Air China, the route is likely to attract passengers from Southeast Asia as the Bangalore-Japan and the Bangalore-South Korea routes have not yet been opened.

The ancient "silk road" opens again

Aside from passengers from Chengdu, there were also numerous connecting passengers from Shanghai and other cities. The passengers tend to be those working in IT industry.

Passengers from the first flight included those who were from Chengdu's 6 tourism agencies going to study Bangalore's tourist market. Zhang Wei, general manager of Chengdu Panda Travel Service Group, told reporters that the travel agency she serves arranged over 10 high-end tour groups in Beijing to visit Bangalore in the near future. "After my visit to India is completed, we will help tour groups around China visit Bangalore via Chengdu," she added.

Zhou Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Chengdu Tourist Association and also a member of the study tour group, said that the Chengdu-Bangalore tourist route is in fact historical and cultural because the Chengdu-Bangalore route was a southwestern "silk road" and the Ancient Tea Horse Road was just a small part of the route. Following the launch of the Chengdu-Bangalore international route, the ancient "silk road" has been opened again. The tourist route will bring Chengdu's residents a fresh new experience.

By People's Daily Online
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