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Turkish Airlines opens Xi'an-Istanbul direct flight route

Updated: Jan 2, 2020 By Zhu Wenqian Print
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A Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400 is seen in this undated file released by the Turkish Airlines. [Photo/IC]

Turkish Airlines launched direct flights that connect Istanbul and Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Monday, the first direct flights between the two cities. The carrier said the new flights would strengthen its position in China and even Asia.

Xi'an became Turkish Airlines' fourth destination in the Chinese mainland after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The flights will be operated three times a week with Airbus A330 aircraft, with inbound flights on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and outbound flights on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Xi'an was the starting point of the historical Silk Road and now an important node city of the Belt and Road Initiative. Back in 1999, Turkish Airlines launched its first flights in China that connected Beijing and Istanbul.

"We will carry our guests to 126 countries from Xi'an, one of the most significant historical capitals, while transferring the historical Silk Road to above the clouds with our cargo operations," said Bilal Eksi, general manager of Turkish Airlines.

"Our new flights also will contribute to the tourist numbers coming to our country with increasing attention from Chinese tourists," Eksi said.

From January to May 2019, 167,900 Chinese tourists visited Turkey, up 5.63 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey. Chinese citizens can apply for electronic tourism visas for trips to Turkey.

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