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China's Hainan Airlines Launches Direct Flights to Israel

(CRI Online)    14:32, April 29, 2016

The first Beijing-Tel Aviv direct flight of Hainan Airlines has landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, April 28, 2016. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com / Zhang Jin]

China's Hainan Airlines has launched its first Beijing-Tel Aviv direct flight.

It's currently the only Chinese airline to fly directly between China and Israel, and is expected to cash in on the increasing commercial and cultural ties between the two countries.

Chinese businesswoman Li Kasu has been living in Israel for over twenty years. The inauguration of the Hainan Airlines' Beijing-Tel Aviv direct flights has offered her new options to travel back and forth.

"It will be very convenient! Times of the flights are very passenger-oriented, and it will be easier to buy a ticket, which was often difficult with Israel's El Al airlines. Besides, the El Al seats have small legroom, while Hainan Airline flights offer comfortable seats. As a Chinese citizen, I definitely want to take our own flights to support our own country."

The new route operates three times a week -- on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday -- using Airbus A330 jets.

Hainan Airlines is one of only seven airlines to be awarded a prestigious five stars by rating company Skytrax.

Xu Lei was part of the cabin crew on the first flight.

"We have the latest entertainment system and a quick turn-around of movies. We are also competitive on seat comfort and food. Our Jewish passengers are able to order kosher food 48 hours before the flight time, which is a benefit for them."

As China and Israel have agreed to begin FTA talks and have signed an agreement on multiple entry visas, valid for 10 years, the new route is expected to enhance bilateral relations.

The deputy Head of mission at the Embassy of China in Israel is Cai Weiming:

"We believe that the new airline will enormously benefit the personnel and material transportation as well as significantly promote the communication in various areas, thus enhance the foundation of the China-Israel relations. At the same time, the success of the new airline would create a better business performance for the Hainan Airlines, and attract more and more Chinese companies to expand their business in Israel."

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin says the inauguration of the new direct flights will further boost tourism between the two countries.

"I think the potential of tourism is huge. The number of tourists that can come now to Israel through the flights of Hainan Airlines is almost double the number that we had up until now. I think that the marketing abilities of Hainan Airlines are something that we didn't enjoy up until now. I think that we are in the right way to make tourism between Israel and China profit both countries."Forty-seven thousand Chinese visited Israel last year, 43 percent more than the year before.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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