New air link to make Paris top EU destination for Chinese travelers


PARIS — A new Air China route being launched on Saturday to link Paris and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, will make the French capital Europe’s best-connected city with the Middle Kingdom, Aeroports de Paris (ADP) said Tuesday. The mainland Chinese carrier will fly four times weekly to Charles de Gaulle airport, from where ADP said 89 flights will leave for China — excluding Hong Kong — each week.

Chengdu is the “main entry point for central western China and represents a 12 million-strong market. It is also a very important business center and top tourist destination,” ADP noted in a statement. The Sichuan capital becomes the eighth Chinese city with a direct link to Paris, which brings the French capital even with Frankfurt but with a greater number of flights. In addition to longstanding connections with Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, the past two years have seen routes between Paris and Wuhan and Xian in central China, Hangzhou in the east and Kunming in the southwest, ADP noted. It added that the newer routes in the main serve “Chinese passengers wishing to discover France for the first time.” The organization said Charles de Gaulle airport northeast of Paris was “Chinese friendly” with extensive Chinese language signposting as well as Mandarin-speaking staff. Frankfurt serves eight Chinese cities for 76 flights a week, Amsterdam operates 47 to six cities and London currently offers 54 flights weekly to four cities, according to ADP.