ULAN BATOR, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Air China as well as its Beijing-Ulan Bator direct route has contributed significantly to the promotion of tourism and people-to-people exchanges between China and Mongolia, a general manager of Air China has said.
"As China-Mongolia relations and cooperation have been expanding rapidly in a wide range of areas, the number of people choosing to travel via Air China's Beijing-Ulan Bator direct route has been growing," General Manager of Air China in Ulan Bator Otgon Amgalan told Xinhua on Friday.
The general manager made the remarks during a promotion event of the company which aimed at further increasing exchanges between the two countries.
"Mongolia is one of China's close neighbors. Also, the country is one of the main countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)," said Amgalan, adding that the company has made great efforts to develop bilateral ties, the BRI and Mongolia's Prairie Road development initiative.
Meanwhile, the general manager said that Air China has played a positive role in fostering humanitarian relations between the two countries by offering services to poor Mongolian patients.
The company recently provided half-price tickets for 28 Mongolian children suffering from congenital heart disease who went to Beijing to receive free surgeries, and their parents.
"Next year, our two countries are set to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations," said Amgalan. "We are ready to do everything possible to make more contributions to the further development of bilateral cooperation between the two countries."
Air China has commenced its operations in Mongolia in 1991 by starting its first direct flight from Ulan Bator to Beijing.
Last year, more than 95,000 passengers took the Beijing-Ulan Bator flight, up more than 30 percent compared with five years ago.