Tourists visit Qilou ancient street in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, on Feb. 6, 2019, the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)
HAIKOU, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A direct air route was launched on Thursday morning between Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, and Osaka, Japan's second-largest city.
It is this year's first international air flight from Haikou launched by Hainan Airlines, which has so far opened a number of international routes linking Haikou with cities including Rome, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne.
The route will use a Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operate three flights per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Tourists appreciate cherry blossoms at a park in Osaka, Japan, April 2, 2015. (Xinhua/Yan Lei)
The maiden flight took off at 8:40 a.m. before arriving in Osaka at 1:40 p.m. It is scheduled to return to Haikou at 7:15 p.m. after departing from Osaka at 2:40 p.m. on the same day.
Hainan Province had 74 international air routes in total by December and aims to increase the figure to 100 by 2020.
China plans to build Hainan into an international tourism and consumption center by 2025 and a globally influential tourism and consumption destination by 2035.
The province aims to attract 2 million overseas tourists by 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 25 percent between 2018 and 2020, according to a three-year action plan released last June. Enditem