Direct flights from Latvia to China may start this year

Direct flights from Latvia to China could be launched by the end of this year, Helmuts Kols, the Latvian Transport Ministry's representative in China said in an interview with Latvian Radio July 16.

"It could come to pass by the end of the year," Kols said, after describing how "We have opened the door to Chinese aviation companies and Latvian aviation companies to work together on real air transport [opportunities]," Kols said.

"We have identified a concrete destination - Hainan province in the south of China," said Kols, describing the region as an important location for the pharmaceutical industry in particular and which enjoys special status as "China's economic freeport." 

According to Kols, in 2016, both countries pledged to seek a way for direct flights to take place. Chinese representatives visited Rīga airport, familiarized themselves with the national airline airBaltic and liked what they saw.

He also suggested Latvia could develop into and important "transit and logistics hub" between east and west.

"Transport infrastructure is the basis of Latvia's development," Kols said.

Martins Gauss, head of airBaltic, has previously said that flights from Latvia to China could be made, but would require the partnership of a Chinese company and sufficient demand. 

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