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Nation's first flight to Sansha planned

(China Daily)

08:37, July 22, 2013

Tourists arrive at Yongxing Island in Sansha, Hainan province, on Sunday. China’s youngest city, Sansha was established last July on Yongxing Island in the South China Sea and is expected to become a popular travel destination. PHOTOS BY Huang Yiming / China Daily

In Mo Qun's eyes, Sansha, the country's youngest city, will become China's Maldives, attracting tourists for island-to-island trips in the near future.

Mo, general manager of Meiya Air Co Ltd, said the company has purchased five amphibious aircraft to help realize that dream.

Two Cessna planes, which can take 19 passengers each, are already in Sanya, and the rest will be delivered soon, he said.

"Meiya Air is planning to launch air express routes from Sanya to Sansha," Mo told China Daily on Sunday, adding that the 70-minute flight would attract tourists who are put off by the 10-hour boat trip.

"Then flights between the islands of Sansha will be our next target," he said.

However, he said the company is still waiting for government approval of its plans.

Sansha is China's youngest city, having been set up in July on Yongxing Island in the South China Sea region to administer the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha island groups and their surrounding waters. With a total area of 13 square kilometers and a maritime area of 2.6 million sq km, it is the smallest prefecture-level city in both population and land area.

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