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Chongqing's Gateway to the World: New Int'l Flights Take off This Summer

By RAN ZHENG|Jun 05,2024

Chongqing - Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is expanding its international routes to meet rising summer travel demand. New flights include Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Male, Maldives, with increased trips to Phuket, Thailand, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Travelers check in at the international flight counter at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. (Photo/Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport)

Starting June 24, Chongqing Airlines will operate the Chongqing-Colombo-Male route thrice weekly with Airbus A320NEO aircraft. Flights depart Chongqing at 12:10 on Mondays and Fridays and at 15:45 on Wednesdays, arriving in Male at 17:40 and 21:25, respectively. The return trip includes a stop in Colombo, with a total round-trip duration of about 8.5 hours.

Starting July 1, direct flights from Chongqing to Phuket will resume daily. Departures are at 20:00, and arrivals in Phuket are at 22:50. Chongqing Airlines offers promotional one-way fares starting at 950 yuan (about USD 131).

Additionally, starting June 21, Xiamen Airlines will offer direct flights from Chongqing to Phnom Penh four times a week using Boeing B737 aircraft. The flight time is approximately 3.5 hours.

These enhancements come as Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, a major hub, already operates 25 international routes with over 130 weekly flights to destinations like Seattle, London, Paris, and Dubai. This extensive network offers travelers convenience and supports the region's economic and cultural exchanges.

Recent data from the Chongqing Entry-Exit Border Inspection Station show a significant increase in activity for the first quarter. The station processed 384,000 travelers and handled over 3,200 flights, up 287% and 158%, respectively, from the same period last year.

Chongqing's entry-exit border figure for the first quarter of 2024. (Graphic/Zheng Ran)

Notably, foreign traveler entries at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport surged to nearly 30,000, a sixfold increase from last year. Meanwhile, entries and exits by mainland residents reached approximately 280,000, 3.3 times higher than last year's count.

China's unilateral visa-free agreements with countries like France, Germany, and Switzerland and mutual visa exemptions with Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Georgia have significantly boosted foreign visitor entries into Chongqing. In the first quarter of this year, over 12,000 foreigners entered Chongqing visa-free via Jiangbei Airport, double the number from the fourth quarter of 2023.

"The mutual visa exemption with Singapore allows me to travel with my family for two-day trips as conveniently as if we were traveling within China," shared Ms. Zhou, a recent traveler from Chongqing to Singapore.


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