Links between China and Europe’s Iberian Peninsula will continue to grow this month, with the launch of the country’s first non-stop scheduled flights to Portugal.
On 25 July 2017, Beijing Capital Airlines will commence direct flights between Beijing and Lisbon, the respective capitals of China and Portugal. Flights will continue onwards between Beijing and Hangzhou.
This continues the recent proliferation of new air routes between China and the Iberian Peninsula, which comprises Spain and Portugal. Previously under-served, the last 12 months has seen a series of new routes from airlines including Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Air China and China Eastern Airlines.
According to data from ForwardKeys, total international scheduled capacity between Asia and Spain increased 38% in 2016, and is expected to jump by a further 163% in the first half of 2017.
A celebration of Beijing Capital Airlines’ new Portuguese flights was recently held in Lisbon.
“Capital Airlines’ direct flight service between China and Portugal will be an important contribution to strengthening cooperation between these two countries by promoting tourism and improving trade and economic relations. This effort is part of HNA’s strategy to build the new Silk Road of the 21st Century and bring people and countries closer together,” said Chen Feng, chairman of HNA Group, which owns the Beijing-based carrier.
The new route will be operated three times a week using a two-class Airbus A330 aircraft. The business class cabin will feature full flat-bed seats. Beijing Capital Airlines said the new route forms part of its effort to contribute to the Chinese government’s “Belt and Road” initiative, which is aimed at connecting China with the rest of the world and boosting economic growth.