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Air China starts with direct China-Cuba flights

Staff writer ▼ | December 29, 2015
The first direct flight between China and Cuba took off from the international airport in Beijing for Havana, with Air China aiming to promote Chinese tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Air China
Better connection   The first direct flights from Cuba to China
The route is the first direct one linking China, the world’s second-largest economy, and the Caribbean, as well as the first route between the Asian nation and Latin America operated by an Asian airline.

The existing flights from China to Mexico and Brazil are operated by foreign carriers.

The Boeing 777 departed at 1:45 p.m. Beijing time (0545 GMT) and is scheduled to arrive at 8:15 Havana time (0115 GMT on Monday). The route requires 19.5 hours of flying time, with a stopover for refueling scheduled in Montreal.

Officials expect the route to boost not just tourism between China and Cuba, but travel from the Asian nation to all of Latin America, a region that is rarely visited by the growing number of Chinese tourists.

China became the world’s top source of tourists in 2014, but Chinese tourists tend to mainly visit Europe and Southeast Asia.