HAVANA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- China's flagship airline, Air China, opened on Thursday a commercial office in Cuba to boost tourism cooperation between the two nations and the Caribbean area.
In a ceremony chaired by China's ambassador to Cuba Chen Xi and Air China's general manager in Cuba Zhang Xin, the office opened to facilitate travel between the Cuban capital and Beijing through the direct flight which has been operating since the end of 2015.
"The Air China brand has been increasingly popular in Cuba and the Caribbean countries. From today on, we will offer better services to all passengers with this office," Zhang said.
He introduced that since the inaugural flight of Air China to Cuba about 24,000 travelers of different nationalities have chosen to take this airline.
"There have been 156 flights between Beijing and Havana and we have maintained regularity, safety and comfort in all its trips," he said.
For his part, Ambassador Chen said the opening of this office, together with the existing regular flights, will promote cooperation in the tourism and air transport sectors.
"This direct flight has played an important role in facilitating personal exchanges between China and Cuba as well as Latin America. In addition, it has greatly contributed to the development of cooperation in different areas," Chen said.
The diplomat stated that Sino-Cuban relations are at their best after more than half a century of ties and without a doubt this direct link will help promote the visit of Chinese tourists to the island.
"Cuba has very attractive natural resources for Chinese tourists, very warm people, as well as a picturesque landscape, blue seas and fine beaches," he said.
Chen said that cooperation in tourism and air transport will have great potential and good prospects due to the interest of Chinese travelers to know Cuba and different Caribbean nations.
With a duration of almost 20 hours of flight and a technical stop in Montreal, Canada, Air China's flight to Cuba is the only direct link between China and the Caribbean region.