Air transport ties to deepen along Belt and Road

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BEIJING. KAZINFORM - Civil aviation between China and two Asian countries along the Belt and Road, a China-proposed trade and infrastructure network, will enhance cooperation as China works to promote regional connectivity.

Air travel from China to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is set to improve following the meeting and signing of a memorandum between the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the two countries' civil aviation authorities on expanding cooperation. "Thanks to the newly signed agreements, relevant airlines will see substantial increases," said CAAC's deputy director Wang Zhiqing, Xinhua reports. Kazakhstan authorities last week announced several new air routes between Kazakhstan and China will be launched from this year through 2019. By autumn 2015, four airline companies will operate 13 passenger flights and 21 cargo flights between China and Kazakhstan each week. Three companies will run three passenger flights and 15 cargo flights between China and Azerbaijan every week. The number of air passengers from China to Kazakhstan has increased 81 percent to 70,000 in the past three years, according to data from Air Astana, Kazakhstan's biggest airline. The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and was proposed in 2013 with the goal of reviving ancient trade routes between Asia and Europe. The network passes through more than 60 countries and regions, with a total population of 4.4 billion.

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