China Eastern Airlines to launch Naha-Fuzhou service in July
May 16, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
China Eastern Airlines will launch a direct service between Naha and Fuzhou starting in July, Chinese Consul General to Fukuoka, Li Tianran, said May 15 when he paid a visit to Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga at the prefectural government office.
The carrier plans to operate the twice-weekly service with a plane capable of carrying about 180 passengers, Li said, adding that the plan was formalized on May 14.
The service will link Naha Airport and Fuzhou Changle International Airport on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A departure ceremony will be held on July 1 at the international terminal of Naha Airport.
Depending on the popularity of the service, the airline may consider increasing the number of flights or introducing a bigger-capacity plane, Li said.
“We want also want to increase the number of cruise ships sailing between Okinawa and Fuzhou,” Li told Onaga. “We want to further promote our exchange and deepen our mutual understanding,” he said. Li also asked Onaga to facilitate exchanges between Fuzhou’s free-trade zone and Okinawa’s special economic zone.
“Okinawa aims to become a bridge between the rest of Asia (and Japan), and to contribute to peace in the region. Since economic and cultural exchanges will enhance trust, we would also like to ask you (to help us in this regard),” Onaga said.
In April, the governor met with the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang. During that meeting, Onaga asked the premier to launch a direct service between Fuzhou and Okinawa.
(English translation by T&CT and Miwa Murphy)
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