China Southern Airlines has officially launched a direct flight from Lao capital Vientiane to Guangzhou as part of a scheme to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
With flight code CZ 6091/6092, the flight will be operated with airbus A320 planes on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The inaugural flight with more than 140 passengers landed at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane on Wednesday evening.
Talking about the launching of the new direct route between Vientiane and Guangzhou, the airline’s Deputy General Manager in Bangkok Zhao Yang said the launching is to answer the call of the Belt and Road Initiative.
China has been an important and consistent partner for Laos historically, politically and economically since the signing of an air service agreement between the two countries in 1987, according to a report by the Lao state-run media Vientiane Times on Friday.
“Our bilateral relations are strong and fruitful,” Acting Director of the Civil Aviation Department under the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport Bouakhao Khounpaya said during his speech to mark the inaugural flight at a dinner reception in Vientiane.
“In the same way, China Southern Airlines business in Laos will grow strongly because this will certainly help people-to-people connectivity, particularly on the Guangzhou and Vientiane and vice versa routes, and relations between our two countries will bear more fruit,” he added.
Bouakhao said he believes the number of Chinese tourists visiting Laos will significantly increase and China Southern Airline’s flights will help Laos access destinations around the world.
“Such flight operations would lead to prospects of amicable and closer aviation ties between the two countries, which is essential for the development of the aviation markets of Laos and China,” he said, adding that this will ensure mutual benefits and friendly exchanges between Laos and China.
“The flight operations will give greater exposure of Laos and China to the people of both countries, and will bring about even more passenger services, promoting trade and investment between and beyond both countries. There is no doubt that the economies of both Laos and China will benefit as a result,” Bouakhao said.
According to the Department of Civil Aviation in Laos, many countries are operating direct flights to the country, as well as some charter flights.
Many Chinese nationals are flying to several destinations in Laos, while tourist attractions in China are also proving popular with scores of Lao people.
Direct flights from Laos to China consist of Vientiane-Kunming, Vientiane-Guangzhou, Vientiane-Nanning, Vientiane-Hainan, Luang Prabang-Chengdu and Vientiane-Changzhou.