The commercial vice president of Hainan Airlines, Jason Liu, intervenes during the ceremony held at the Mexican Embassy in Beijing to announce the launch of a flight from Beijing to Mexico City with a stop in Tijuana, in Beijing (China), today, February 2 of 2018. EFE

Hainan Airlines today unveiled a new flight that will link Beijing and Mexico City from March 21 after making a stop in Tijuana, making it the first Chinese airline to offer a direct flight from the capital of the country to a Latin American city.

This route, the first one that allows to get on the plane in Beijing and land on Latin American soil, will have three return flights a week operated by a Boeing 787 aircraft.

So far, there was no airline in the country that connected China and Latin America directly, but most Chinese companies that offer trips to countries in the region make a stopover in Canada, although you could travel with foreign airlines such as the Mexican AeroMexico .

The latter links Shanghai with Mexico City, also calling at Tijuana.

To get to that country, Chinese tourists could also take off from Cantón (to the south) and fly with the airline Southern Airlines to Mexico City, but they had to make a technical stop in Vancouver (Canada).

“We are sure that the attraction that Mexico City has for its connectivity to different parts of Mexico and other places in Latin America, and even to North America and Europe, will have a very important effect on the growth of tourism” , said the ambassador of Mexico in China, José Luis Bernal, at a press conference.

In 2017, a total of 120,000 Chinese tourists visited Mexico, which represented an increase of 14% compared to the total number of travelers from China in the previous year.

This figure, according to Bernal, is good because it is an increase compared to 2016, but it is still small compared to the total number of Chinese people traveling abroad, so its purpose is to attract more tourists and Chinese businessmen, those who qualify as “good travelers and good spenders”.

 

Apart from improving the connectivity of the country with more flights, the ambassador advocated to promote the study of Mandarin Chinese, “in order to better receive tourists and understand” their preferences.

The commercial vice president of Hainan Airlines, Jason Liu (l), the Mexican ambassador to China, José Luis Bernal (2l), and the deputy director general of the Beijing airport, Du Qiang, make a toast during the ceremony held at the Embassy of Mexico in Beijing to announce the launch of a flight from Beijing to Mexico City with a stopover in Tijuana, in Beijing (China), today, February 2, 2018. EFE

In addition, he assured that Mexico has facilitated the granting of visas in a “significant” way and that now Chinese tourists who have already visited the United States or Canada can enter Mexico without needing any other document.

Bernal does not expect to increase tourism to Mexico alone but believes that this new route will serve to channel China’s passenger traffic to the entire Latin American continent, using Mexico City as the gateway.

For Hainan Airlines this launch confirms its new plan to focus on the Latin American region, explained its vice president, Jason Liu.

The airline estimates that the planes on this route will travel with an occupancy rate of 70% and hopes to expand the number of destinations in Latin America in the future.

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