Air China will commence Beijing-Mumbai nonstop service on October 25, 2015. As the forthcoming only service from Mainland China to Mumbai, it will spare passengers departing from Beijing for Mumbai the trouble of having to make a detour by transferring in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok and make it much easier to get to the “Gate of India”. The one-way flight takes about seven hours. As India’s largest seaport and an important hub of transportation, Mumbai has earned its reputation as the “Gateway in the West” of India. As India’s center of commerce and entertainment, Mumbai is India’s response to Manhattan, is home to Bollywood and boasts myriad World Heritage sites like the grottos on Elephant Island. Along the indented coast of the Mumbai Bay is a mixture of traditional and modern buildings, which, like a string of glimmering pearls, make the “Princess of India” even more charming. As two BRICS countries, China and India have long had close political, economic and people exchanges and in recent years, inbound and outbound travelers of the two countries have been on the rise. From January to November 2014, bilateral trade volume experienced a 9% year-on-year increase. while in September of the same year, the two countries released a joint declaration on exploring new areas of cooperation through strategic economic dialogue and beginning the “China-India Cultural Exchanges Plan”. In 2015, the two countries hosted “India Tourism Year” in China, and in 2016 will host ‘China Tourism Year” in India. The new Beijing-Mumbai service will go a way towards meeting the ever increasing market demand for air services in the fields of economy, trade, tourism, culture and people exchanges. In 2015, Air China is continuing to build its world-spanning route network with its hub in Beijing, and, at the same time, with the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative proposed by the Chinese government in mind, has started and will start more routes serving the countries along the “One Belt, One Road”. Examples of the routes include Beijing-Minsk-Budapest opened in the first half of the year and Beijing-Islamabad-Karachi, Beijing-Kuala Lumpur, Beijing-Colombo, Beijing-Johannesburg and Beijing-Addis Ababa to be opened this October. In this new era when China and the countries along the “One Belt, One Road” are jointly mapping out the future for the six major economic corridors, Air China’s Beijing-Mumbai service is an important part of the endeavor to build the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Corridor. The service will increase the Asian-Pacific destinations Air China serves to 17, and bring the number of nonstop flights between China and India up to eight a week. It will make it much easier for both Chinese business and leisure travelers departing from Beijing for India to get to Delhi and Mumbai, cities whose developed transportation systems provide easy access to other Indian cities and tourist destinations. At the same time, the service will also offer an additional easy and fast option for travelers to fly from India and other parts of the Asia Pacific region to other parts of the world via Beijing.
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