August 2, 2018 / 8:14 AM / 10 months ago

Hainan Airlines begins Guangzhou-Tel Aviv direct flights

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - China’s Hainan Airlines on Thursday launched the first direct flight from Guangzhou to Tel Aviv, the airline’s third Israel-China route opened in as many years, and said it was looking to start a fourth.

Hainan already operates flights to Israel from Beijing and Shanghai, and the company said it was considering opening this year a fourth route from technology hub Shenzhen in southern China.

The Guangzhou route is flown by 787-900 Dreamliners three times a week.

A record 3.6 million tourists came to Israel in 2017. About 114,000 were from China, a 41 percent jump from the previous year, Hainan said.

“The opening of the route is an important layer in the strengthening of commercial, economic and tourism ties between China and Israel,” Israel’s Transportation Minister Israel Katz said.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen

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