Flight opens link­ing Haikou and San­sha

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By MA ZHIPING and LIU XIAOLI in Haikou Con­tact the writ­ers at mazhip­ing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

San­sha, the south­ern­most is­land city of China in the South China Sea, wel­comed its first reg­u­lar civil char­ter flight on Thurs­day.

The plane took off from Meilan In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Haikou, cap­i­tal of Hainan prov­ince, at 8:45 am on Thurs­day and landed at San­sha Yongx­ing Air­port af­ter a one-hour flight.

For years, peo­ple had to take a ship to get to Yongx­ing, but now they have more choices.

There will be one flight per day from Haikou to Yongx­ing Is­land, where the city govern­ment of San­sha is based. The flight takes off from Haikou ev­ery morn­ing, ar­riv­ing on Yongx­ing Is­land at 10:20 am, while the re­turn flight takes off at 1 pm.

The one-way flight ticket is fixed at a price of 1,200 yuan ($173), ac­cord­ing to San­sha’s of­fi­cial web­site.

The launch of the civil avi­a­tion ser­vice was re­garded as one of the city’s ef­forts to im­prove the qual­ity of daily work and life of lo­cal res­i­dents in San­sha.

Both public ser­vants and their rel­a­tives, as well as fish- er­men and work­ers on San­sha, can buy tick­ets from the air­port op­er­a­tion com­pany af­ter re­ceiv­ing of­fi­cial per­mis­sion.

Yongx­ing Air­port now op­er­ates as both a mil­i­tary and civil air­port af­ter it passed a civil in­dus­try in­spec- tion ear­lier this month and was awarded an op­er­a­tion li­cense last week. The air­port com­pleted con­struc­tion to ex­pand the fa­cil­ity in May this year.

San­sha was of­fi­cially es­tab­lished in 2012 to ad­min­is­ter the Xisha, Zhong­sha and Nan­sha is­land groups and their sur­round­ing wa­ters in the South China Sea.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, a new cruise ship, Nan­hai Zhi­meng, will make its maiden voy­age later this month, trav­el­ing from Sanya to the Yon­gle Is­lands, which are ad­min­is­tered by San­sha, ac­cord­ing to the city’s tourism bureau.

The cruise ship has com­pleted a trial voy­age and has seen rapid ticket sales since book­ings opened in late Novem­ber. The ship has max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 893 pas­sen­gers.

SONG GUOQIANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Pas­sen­gers board a flight at an air­port on Yongx­ing Is­land. The first reg­u­lar civil char­ter flight between Haikou, cap­i­tal of Hainan prov­ince, and the is­land was op­er­ated on Thurs­day.

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