Naha-Beijing flights restarted

Air China restarted direct flights on Naha-Beijing route, July 3, when the first flight on the route arrived at Naha Airport from Beijing in the morning. The flights were halted in September because of the problems involving Senkaku Islands lead to a sharp decrease in the number of Chinese visitors to Japan.

Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau had organized a special welcome ceremony at the airport for the 136 passengers on the flight. For now, Air China is scheduled to fly the route twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which has a capacity of 157 passengers.

Akihito Heshiki, a senior director at OCVB says the restart of the flights is “a good bridge between Okinawa and China that will increase economic activity in both countries, especially in tourist business.”

Hainan Airlines that had two flights a week between Naha and Beijing closed the route last September. Juneyao Airlines, another China-based carrier, had a flight plan between Naha and Beijing that was scheduled to start last September, but that plan was shelved for the same reason before any flights took off.