Air China to start Budapest-Beijing flight

Updated: 2015-03-15 05:26


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BUDAPEST -- Air China plans to start regular flights between Budapest and Beijing on May 1, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto told a news conference here on Saturday.

The Chinese airline plans to launch four flights every week between the two cities. Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which has a capacity of 227 seats, will be used for the route.

The flight from Beijing to Budapest will have a stop in Minsk, Belarus, and the flight from Budapest to Beijing will be a direct one.

Szijjarto called the move an achievement of Hungary's opening towards the East.

Hungary's exports to China was valued at 2.2 billion dollars in 2014, registering a year-on-year increase of 8 percent, according to Szijjarto. About 90,000 Chinese tourists visited Hungary last year, he said.

Air China is China's national carrier. It has more than 500 aircrafts on 326 routes. In 2013, it carried about 78 million passengers, and its turnover amounted to 15 billion dollars.

In order to better serve the Belt and Road initiatives, deepen the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries, and promote economic and trade exchanges between China and Hungary, Air China decided to start Budapest-Beijing flight, Air China's representative in Budapest Yan Jianshu told Xinhua.

The new route replaces a Hainan Airlines one that flew from 2004 to 2012. The one operated by Hainan Airlines terminated its service after the collapse of Hungary's national carrier Malev.