Laos and China plan to open additional flights between world heritage site Luang Prabang and Changsha, the capital of China’s Hunan province, toward the middle of the year.
Direct flights are also expected to open at that time, the Vice President of the overseas Chinese association of Hunan province in China Mr Sun Min Sheng told the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr Savankhone Razmountry, when Mr Savankhone recently led the large Lao delegation from the ministry on an official visit to Hunan province in the initiative to promote exchange and cooperation, which ran from April 16-20 in Hunan province.
The first Lao airlines flight between Vientiane and Changsha of Hunan province opened in 2015, where the flight was two-times per week, for example Monday and Friday.
Mr Sun said “Laos is very beautiful country, especially Luang Prabang province and many other parts, which is why we plan to open additional flights between our capital city and Luang Prabang, aimed at promoting tourism and cooperation of both countries.”
He has visited Laos twice, and he said that the cooperation and relationship of both countries had a strong friendship, and this was strengthening day by day.
He continued, stating that the population in Hunan province of people doing business in Laos is over 100,000. And the province ranks first among Chinese provinces with most people in Laos. In addition, the province also has a chamber of commerce established in Laos. Mr Savankhone said during the visit last week that “After our first flight opening from between Vientiane and Changsha in 2015, and with the Lao consular opening at the end of last year, it enhances strength and cooperation of our two countries, especially our peoples.”
Tourists, particularly Chinese tourists and investors, have also helped to contribute and develop Laos through visits and doing business in Laos. The opening of further flights would also foster comfortable business conditions for Chinese, encouraging investment in Laos, and Lao to invest in China, he said.
He said “Next year, it will also celebrate the ‘Visit Year’ between Laos and China, with our visit also being one part to promote the celebration.”
Head of Information, Culture and Tourism Department in Luang Prabang Mr Soulithip Norkhounphonh said that Luang Prabang currently has international flights between its province with Bangkok and Chiang Mai of Thailand; Singapore; Malaysia; Siem Reap of Cambodia; Hanoi of Vietnam; Busan of Korea; Kunming and Jinghong of Yunan province in China; and Chengdu of China.
The Lao Airlines’ fleet currently comprises four A320 of planes, four ATR72-500 and three ATR72-600 with international flights to Cambodia, China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Also, charter flights are possible to Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, Mongolia, Brunei, China and Taipei.
The airlines domestic ex-Vientiane routes include services to Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khuang, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces.
Hunan province is located in central China, with a population of over 72 million people. It has 13 cities, one autonomous region, and 122 counties.
Souce: Vientiane Times