China's Hainan Airline launched the first nonstop flight service from China to Czech Republic last September as a key part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The airline has attracted a large number of passengers from China and other countries after just several months of operations. [Special coverage]
The direct Beijing to Prague route shortened the travelling time between the two cities from at least 14 hours to 10 hours, and has also provided convenient transfers for tourists heading to and from central Europe.
"When the route was first launched, passengers were mainly Chinese tourist groups. But the number of foreign passengers has kept growing in the past half year. Only 10 percent of the passengers on our inaugural flight were foreigners and now the number is 30 percent at the least," Guo Kaihua, general manager of Prague Office of Hainan Airline, said.
There are more opportunities for cooperation between the two countries as additional Chinese tourists and investors visit the Czech Republic.
Hainan Airline is planning to adjust the frequency of its flights according to passengers numbers and change from flying a Boeing 767 to a larger Airbus 330 to meet demand.