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A company source told Lusa that the Chinese civil aviation administration had authorised the flights that are going to replace the direct connection between Hangzhou, in China’s east coast and Lisbon, with a call at Beijing that was suspended last October.

There will be three flights a week using Airbus A330 that can carry up to 440 passengers.

The original request to the Chinese authorities last year by Capital Airlines only mentioned two flights a week between Xi'an and Lisbon, excluding Beijing from the route, a decision that the Portuguese authorities criticised.

Portugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, said at the time that the Beijing connection was “very important”.

Obviously, we have nothing against other connections, the more the better, but the Beijing to Lisbon connection is very important, and these were the terms of the initiative that resulted in the launch of these flights, he said.

In the first year it flew to Portugal, Capital Airlines carried more than 80,000 passengers with an average occupancy rate of 80% in the weaker months and more than 95% in high season.

©The Portugal News

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