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Chinese airline launches first direct flight to Israel


Beijing-Tel Aviv route to operate three times a week; Israel hopes to bring 100,000 Chinese tourists per year

China’s Hainan Airlines will launch the country’s first direct flight to Israel on Thursday, China’s Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

The Beijing-Tel Aviv route will operate three times a week – on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday – using Airbus A330 jets which can carry around 250 passengers.

There has been a long history of friendly exchanges and economic cooperation between the people of Israel and China, and these have grown since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xin Di, chair of Hainan Airlines told Xinhua.

Xin said he expects the direct flight linking China and Israel will foster deeper cooperation between the two countries in trade, science and technology and tourism.

Earlier this month, the two countries signed a 10-year multiple entry visa deal.

Until recently, Israeli tourists and business people who wanted to travel to China were required to obtain a onetime-use visa which only lasted the length of the visitor’s stay in the country.

The new visa agreement is expected to facilitate travel between China and Israel, encourage Chinese tourists to visit Israel, and save time and money.

The agreement was signed by the Vice


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