BEIJING._ Zhang Xin, a senior Air China executive, said that a company delegation will travel to Cuba for talks about the establishment of the first ever direct flight between Beijing and Havana.

Zhang Xin, a senior Air China executive, said that a company delegation will travel to Cuba for talks about the establishment of the first ever direct flight between Beijing and Havana.The head of Governmental, International and Bilateral Cooperation Affairs at Air China, told the Prensa Latina news agency that company representatives will arrive in Havana mid-March, seeking Cuban approval for their proposed operations.

The purpose of the visit will be to reach an agreement and to become familiar with refuelling, maintenance, catering and other services and facilities at José Martí airport.

He added that once Cuban approval had been secured, pertinent applications would be submitted to Chinese authorities. On that basis, he said that the flights could start next September 28.

Zhang Xin, a senior Air China executive, said that a company delegation will travel to Cuba for talks about the establishment of the first ever direct flight between Beijing and Havana.The executive participated in a Tourism promotional event at the Cuban diplomatic mission in Beijing, which was also attended by Chinese officials from travel agencies and tour operators. Zhang explained that the journey between two such distant points by long haul Airbus or Boeing aircraft would take 16 hours and involve a fuel stop at Montreal, Canada.

The Cuban Ambassador, Alberto Blanco, expressed his satisfaction with the airlines plans to open the first ever direct Beijing-Havana connection, which will coincide with the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both nations. Blanco recalled out that in 2003 Cuba was the first Latin American country to have been declared a tourist destination for China and highlighted that security, natural beauty, high environmental protection indicators and a range of exotic sites, make Cuba a most attractive destination.

In addition to such characteristics, the Ambassador mentioned growing interest in the economic transformations underway in Cuba, the shared enduring friendship and respect for the Chinese presence on the island.

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