ISTANBUL, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish Airlines announced on Thursday that it will launch direct flights from Istanbul to Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province in northwestern China, by the end of this year.
Xi'an will be Turkish Airlines' fourth destination in China after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, raising the number of the carrier's flights to China to 24 per week, the Turkish national flag carrier said in a press release.
The Istanbul-Xi'an flights shall be carried out three times per week at first, while a gradual increase is planned for the summer in 2020, the press release said.
"The flights to Xi'an, which is considered the starting point of the historical Silk Road, will contribute to the cooperation of the two countries in the fields of tourism, trade, culture and economy," said Ilker Ayci, chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Turkish Airlines.
An official from the press office of the Turkish Airlines told Xinhua that the flights would start as soon as China provides the necessary flight frequencies.