China's largest airline to resume flights to Turkey

China Southern Airlines will make first flight to Turkey on December 20 after two-year hiatus

China's largest airline to resume flights to Turkey

China Southern Airlines is set to resume flights to Turkey following a two-year hiatus, according to the Hotel Association of Turkey (TUROB) on Wednesday. 

In a written statement, TUROB said that China's largest airline company will make its first flight to Turkey on December 20.

"The airline company is planning to operate flights three times a week on the Beijing-Istanbul route," the association said.

The Chinese giant suspended its flights to Istanbul in 2016 although the route had proved to be most profitable both in 2015 and 2016. 

The association said Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines operates around 30 flights a week between the two countries -- including direct and code-sharing flights. 

"Flights by the Chinese airline companies will create a positive image for Turkey in China," TUROB said. 

"It is expected that other Chinese companies will soon announce their plans for Turkey."

TUROB also said that more than 120 million Chinese tourists visit overseas destinations every year with an annual spending of over $110 billion in global scale. 

"In January-July this year, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey saw an annual hike of 89 percent to reach 225,000," it said.

The association noted that the insufficiency in transportation options was the major obstacle to achieving Turkey's target of hosting one million Chinese tourists annually. 

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