Mexico-China Air Link (Photo : Getty Images)
On Tuesday, China Southern Airlines launched a Mexico-China air link that connects Guangzhou with Mexico City, the airlines’ first route to the Latin America. Mexico is looking forward to a boost in its tourism with the new connection.
At the ceremony held at Mexico City’s international airport, Mexico’s deputy minister of tourism Salvador Sanchez said
“With the inauguration of the flight, we hope to see an increase in the number of Chinese visitors traveling for leisure, but also for business,” said Mexico's deputy minister of tourism Salvador Sanchez during the inaugural ceremony at Mexico City’s international airport.
Mexico anticipates a 50 percent increase in the number of Chinese tourists through the new air link, according to Sanchez.
China Southern Airlines is based in Guangzhou in the southern Guangdong province of China. It is the fourth largest airlines in the world based on the number of passengers carried per year.
The flight “is the outcome of the good relationship and ties of friendship between China and Mexico,” said Carlos Alberto De Icaza, the deputy foreign affairs minister of Mexico.
China's ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi agreed with De Icaza saying “China-Mexico ties have entered a new stage.”
Currently, China is Mexico’s second-largest trade partner. According to Qiu, Mexico is a country that is “strategic in the Latin American region.”
Qiu further said that China “seeks to strengthen economic and tourism development between the two countries”
The new air link, which will be available thrice in a week, “was mandated by both governments,” the minister added.
The route was acclaimed by China Southern Airlines President Wang Changshun as it assists in strengthening the carrier’s presence in the Latin American market.
The airlines also plan to make further investments to provide diverse products to its newfound “potential” Mexican and Latin American customers, Wang added.
Following a short stop at Vancouver, Canada, the 228-passenger Boeing 787 landed in Mexico City at 8:30 a.m. local time on Monday. A customary water cannon salute and a traditional mariachi band welcomed the carrier on the tarmac.
Before the launch of the new connection, the sole Mexico-China air link was a flight connecting Mexico City to Shanghai. Aeromexico, Mexico’s national airline, operates the said link.
A total of 74,300 Chinese tourists visited Mexico last year. According to the tourism ministry of Mexico, the numbers grew by 33.5 percent compared to that of 2015. The new connection is expected to increase the numbers to 102,000.
The Latin American country hopes to attract more Chinese tourists with the new Mexico-China air link.