China permits more direct flights to Lanka, Maldives

China has permitted more direct flights to Sri Lanka and Maldives to facilitate its tourists to visit the two South Asian countries, which have emerged as Beijing`s strategic allies in recent years.

PTI| Updated: Jul 03, 2014, 19:09 PM IST

Beijing: China has permitted more direct flights to Sri Lanka and Maldives to facilitate its tourists to visit the two South Asian countries, which have emerged as Beijing`s strategic allies in recent years.

Sri Lankan Airlines has launched a non-stop flight linking south China`s Chongqing City with Colombo to meet the rising demand from Chinese tourists.

Chongqing is the fifth Chinese city or region to have a direct air link with Colombo.

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are the other cities that have a direct air link with Colombo.

Sri Lanka attracted over 50,000 Chinese visitors between January and April and the number is expected to surpass 120,000 by the end of this year.

A direct air route between Wuhan, the capital of central China`s Hubei Province, and the Maldivian capital Male was also opened today and an an Airbus A320 was operated on the route.

Wuhan is the seventh Chinese city to open a direct air route with the Maldives after Hong Kong, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guangzhou and Beijing.

Chinese citizens are eligible for visa-exempt visits to the Maldives for 30 days.
Sri Lanka and Maldives are trying to woo a chunk of over 90 million Chinese tourists who went abroad last year.