New Shanghai-Tel Aviv flight opens

Added On September 13, 2017

The first of Hainan Airlines' new Shanghai-Tel Aviv flights touched down in Israel on Tuesday.
The new route comes as officials predict a further rise in tourists to the Middle East.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner carrying 240 passengers landed at Ben Gurion Airport.
The route, which will run three times a week, is the first direct flight between Tel Aviv and Shanghai.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE)ZHAN YONGXIN, Chinese ambassador to Israel
"The opening of the new flight will further facilitate people-to-people exchange and economic and trade cooperation between the two peoples. By the end of the year, a new record would be set for tourist entries from China, with the number of Chinese tourists visiting Israel exceeding 100,000, which would double the figure from two years ago."
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH)AMIR HALEVI, Director general, Israel's Ministry of Tourism
"Now we have two destinations from China landing at Ben Gurion airport. This morning with 15 minutes gap between the two flights is like a dream. We will continue to have a new record every month with number of tourists from China to Israel."
The route follows Hainan Airlines' launch of a Beijing to Tel Aviv in April 2016.
"The Beijing-Tel Aviv route has carried more than 75,000 passengers since its inaugural flight last April, among which about 30 percent are Israelis. The new direct flight from Shanghai to Tel Aviv could further accommodate the needs from tourists, businessmen and other people engaged in China-Israel ties. I hope to boost the number of visitors from both sides."
Hainan Airlines is the largest private airline in China, with a fleet of 185 planes.