China now has direct flights to 43 Belt and Road countries as domestic airlines have opened new routes to those countries, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on May 16.
Around 4,200 direct flights are operated every week linking China and the Belt and Road countries, according to CAAC official Wang Changyi.
By the end of 2016, China had signed air service agreements with governments in 120 countries and regions, with countries along the Belt and Road accounting for more than half of that number.
In the first four months of 2017, air passenger traffic to countries along the Belt and Road took up a 47.1-percent share of China's international passenger volume, up from 39.8 percent in 2015, Wang said.
The improving air connectivity came amid steady progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, a grand plan, proposed by China in 2013, to connect Asia with Europe and Africa along, and beyond, ancient trade routes by putting in place an unparalleled trade and infrastructure network.
A two-day forum of world leaders ended on May 15 with promises and high hopes, including the signing of a series of cooperation agreements to revive the Silk Road.
(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2017)