Shanghai – Prague: China Eastern Airlines Launches Its First Direct Flight to Central Europe

Prague, 23 June 2016   

Earlier today, at Václav Havel Airport Prague, China Eastern Airlines ceremonially launched operations of its new direct scheduled route from Shanghai. It is the third new international direct connection the Chinese carrier has launched from Shanghai this year. China Eastern Airlines will operate flights from the Czech capital three times a week. The launch of the Shanghai – Prague direct flight is an important step for the Chinese airline on its route towards international air transport development.

The carrier will use Airbus 330-200 for 262 passengers to operate the route, which will be serviced from Prague three times a week (on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays). The aircraft will leave Shanghai at 00:45 a.m., arriving in Prague at 6:35 a.m., and returning to Shanghai from Prague at 2:30 p.m., with arrivals at the Chinese city at 7 a.m. the next day. Airbus 330-200 feature a quality in-flight entertaining system and private seats in Business Class.

“Prague, as the capital of the Czech Republic and an important Central European city, has always been and will always remain an important transport hub. The air connection of Prague and Shanghai will continue to support the initiated co-operation between China and the Czech Republic and help enhance the set relations between the partner cities. The direct connection will create new opportunities for economic and business co-operation, help facilitate easier tourist movement and fuel the growth of tourism. I am convinced that it will also play an important role in the cultural exchange between the two countries,” Liu Shaoyong, Chairman of the China Eastern Airlines Board of Directors, said.

“China is one of our priorities in terms of the development of long-haul connections. The number of tourists travelling between the Czech Republic and China each year has been growing steadily. In 2015, 36% more Chinese tourists visited the Czech capital than the year before. Out of all Chinese destinations, Shanghai has the greatest tourist interest potential. We expect the Prague – Shanghai route to transport about 65,000 passengers a year. Alongside tourists, a significant share of business clientele can be expected,” Václav Řehoř, Chairman of the Czech Aeroholding Board of Directors, said, adding: “The carrier has chosen Václav Havel Airport Prague as its first destination with a direct scheduled connection in Central Europe. Prague can thus also serve as its secondary hub for connecting services across Europe. The direct flight will offer Czech tourists and businessmen a comfortable connection to Shanghai and to destinations in China, Asia and Oceania via connecting flights.”  

Shanghai is one of the most important Chinese cities and at the same time the economic, financial, business and logistic centre of China. According to 2015 statistics, Shanghai Hongqiao international airport handled over 99 million passengers and 3.7 million tons of cargo that year. Last year alone, the airport recorded more than 70 million departures and arrivals, making Shanghai the busiest Chinese airport.

China Eastern Airlines actively pursues the expansion and development of its activities in European and international air transport markets. Currently, 35% of its investments are directed to international route development. The carrier intends to continue expanding the connections with the goal of accounting for 40% of its overall transport volume by 2020.

About China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlines is among the leading Chinese air carriers. It owns a modern fleet of more than 560 aircraft and transports over 100 million passengers a year, ranking among the largest air carriers in the world. It is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance of airlines. Thanks to its membership, it provides comfortable air connections to 1,057 destinations in 179 countries worldwide. In June 2016, the carrier launches 4 new direct flights to Europe. In the first half of the year, it will thus service direct flights to a total of 9 cities in the Old Continent – to Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague, Amsterdam and Madrid. It intends to keep increasing the number of its direct connections to Europe, building an international air “Silk Road”.


Media Contacts:

Prague Airport

Marika Janoušková
External Communication Manager and Spokesperson
Tel.: +420 220 116 784
Mobile: +420 724 564 471