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Flights between China, Europe increase
Updated: 2004-02-28 09:32

Travelers between Shanghai and northern Europe will have more choice when new regular flights between the city and Copenhagen begin on March 29.

This will be the second direct flight between Shanghai and northern Europe following the Shanghai-Helsinki service launched by Finnair in September last year.

Scandinavian Airlines will fly Airbus-340 aircraft from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at 10:30 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at Copenhagen Airport at 3:40 p.m. (local time) the same day, the airline said in a statement.

Direct flights from Copenhagen to Shanghai are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with Airbus-340s departing Copenhagen Airport at 3:15 p.m. (local time) and arrive at Pudong International Airport at 7*35 a.m. (Beijing Time) the next day.

Bjorn Ekegren, general manager of Scandinavian Airlines in China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and Mongolia, said he had confidence in the China market and his company planned to launch more flights between China and northern Europe.

The Scandinavian Airlines was jointly established by Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 1946. Now the fourth largest airline in Europe, it operates 810 flights daily between more than 80 European cities and other destinations around the world.

Meanwhile, other Europe-based airlines have added or will increase flights from Europe to China this summer, a move insiderssay has been stimulated by the milestone tourism memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by the China National Tourism Administration and the European Union (EU) earlier this month to facilitate Chinese group tours to Europe.

Chinese tourists going through selected travel agencies will benefit from facilitated procedures for visas from 12 member states of the EU which have been granted "Approved Destination Status" (ADS) by China.

The 12 nations are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Air France now operates daily flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and will increase the number of its Guangzhou-Paris flights to 11 a week from June 28.

In addition to daily direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong to Frankfurt, Lufthansa plans to increase the number of flights from Guangzhou to Munich via Shanghai to seven a week from early April from the current five.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines expects to operate daily flights between Shanghai and Amsterdam, and Beijing and Amsterdam from May30, compared with the current four flights weekly on each route.

Austrian Airlines is also expected to fly to Shanghai soon, sources said.

China Eastern Airlines plans to launch three flights weekly between Shanghai and London beginning on April 1, in addition to its existing flights from Shanghai to Paris, Madrid, Brussels and Munich.

Air China has become the biggest carrier between China and Europe, reaching 40 flights weekly and about 50 cooperative flights weekly. The airline had an average of 13 flights to Europeevery day.

Tourism authorities from Sweden, Denmark and Norway have come to Shanghai to promote tourism in their own countries, good news for airline companies, insiders noted.

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