China Eastern launches direct flights from Shanghai to Marseille

2024-07-02 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China Eastern aircraft on the tarmac at the international airport in Yantai, Shandong province. (Photo by Tang Ke/for China Daily)

Direct flights between Shanghai and Marseille of France officially launched on Tuesday (July 2) by China Eastern Air Holding Co Ltd's Shanghai Airlines, which will become the first carrier to operate regular air routes between the two cities, according to the Shanghai-based carrier.

"Adding the new direct flight, China Eastern will operate a total of 244 flights between China and 19 destinations in Europe every week," said Wang Zhiqing, chairman of China Eastern Air Holding Co Ltd.

According to Wang, as the second largest city in France, Marseille is the largest port in southern Europe, and it is an important shipping and trade center in the Mediterranean. Shanghai and Marseille became sister cities in 1987.

"We believe that the new direct flight will contribute to building closer ties in tourism, economy and cultural communications between China and France," said Wang.

"The direct flight will end the history of no direct flights from Shanghai to South France by China Eastern," said Wang Liangyu, general manager of Shanghai Airlines' planning and development department.

The Shanghai-Marseille flights will be operated every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, and the return flights will be on the same date local time. Further adjustments may come in accordance to the market feedback on the new flight, Wang said.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of China and France establishing bilateral diplomatic relations, and the two nations are celebrating the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism as well.

China waived visa requirements for French visitors in May, and the visa-free policy to France will be effective until December 31, 2025, under which ordinary passport holders from the country can enjoy visa-free travel to China for up to 15 days.

China Eastern also announced on Monday it is going to operate 3,213 passenger flights per day in the summer season, up 13 percent in comparison with that of 2019.

Nearly 800 aircraft, including the six C919s will be put into 1,002 passenger routes during the 62-day summer season, reaching 249 destinations home and abroad.

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