Air China International to resume flights between Beijing and Naha in July

March 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Air China International has decided that on July 3 it will resume flights between Beijing and Naha that have been suspended since last October. The airline will operate this return service twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday. The company had canceled the service because of anti-Japanese demonstrations against Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Staff at the Okinawa branch of Air China International said that they have not yet received an explanation from their head office regarding the resumption of the service. Hainan Airlines, one of the largest Chinese airlines, has also decided to resume its Beijing-Naha service on May 2.

Shigenobu Asato, chairman of the Convention & Visitors Bureau Okinawa, commented on the resumption of Air China’s flights, saying, “The number of tourists from China has decreased since the turmoil over the Senkaku Islands. It is significant that the airlines are moving to resume their services.” He went on to say, “Working with travel companies we want to strengthen our efforts to maintain a stable operation.”

Yoshiro Shimoji, the deputy director general in charge of tourism in the Okinawa Prefectural Government, commented, “We will collect information through staff in Beijing and will consider a range of measures, including promotional projects with travel agencies and airlines to attract Chinese tourists to use these flights.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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