Chengdu looks to become intl aviation hub

Updated: 2014-04-17 10:16

(China Daily)

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Sichuan capital Chengdu had opened 70 passenger and cargo flights to foreign countries and regions by the end of last month, including 32 scheduled direct routes, Chengdu Daily reported.

The inland city used to suffer poor transportation connections with elsewhere but is now expecting far more communication and cooperation with international cities through its advanced aviation network.

By 2015, Chengdu plans to build itself into an international aviation hub with 36 international direct routes carrying 50 million passengers annually.

Chengdu opened four international direct services this year, linking to Melbourne, Frankfurt, Doha and London.

"United Airlines will launch a direct flight between Chengdu and San Francisco in June next year." said Chen Zhongwei, director of the city's logistics office.

The service will be the first direct flight between the United States and western China. Tickets bookings opened at the beginning of November.

"The local government is already planning next year's new routes, linking Chengdu to other international cities including Istanbul, Moscow, Paris and Dubai," Chen said.

The Chengdu Shuangliu International airport is also considering a direct route to Africa, according to a marketing manager from the airport.

The airport handled 31.6 million passengers last year, ranking fourth in China in terms of passenger volume.

Chengdu is also the fourth city on the Chinese mainland to adopt a 72-hour visa-free policy. A total of 245 Fortune Global 500 companies had bases in Chengdu by the end of October.