Air Macau said on Wednesday that it plans to up the number of flights it runs between Macau International Airport (pictured) and 17 destinations in mainland China for the “winter and spring” air travel period, in anticipation of more mainland tourists coming to Macau.
For the winter 2022 to spring 2023 air travel period – which under the Chinese mainland’s marketing system started on October 31 and runs until March 25 next year – Air Macau plans in aggregate 5,723 such flights, up 41 percent year-on-year.
The 17 cities to be served include: Beijing; Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Changzhou, Nantong, Tsingtao and Ningbo. Also covered by the new timetable are: Wenzhou, Yiwu, Tianjin, Taiyuan, Chongqing, Xiamen, Nanning, and Zhengzhou.
Of the 5,723 planned flights, just over half – ie., 2,938 flights – were for “key routes”, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu.
“Starting from this month, mainland China residents can apply to travel to Macau via the resumed use of ‘electronic visa equipment’ (e-visa). This will largely facilitate their travel visa application for travelling to Macau, and hence provide a strong boost to a steady rebound in the number of inbound tourists,” Air Macau remarked in its Chinese-language release.
The airline also stated: “This [travel easing] measure from the central government,” would provide “strong impetus to Macau’s aviation and travel sector.”
Macau is to conduct mass Covid-19 testing among the population on Friday and Saturday (November 4 and 5), the second round of such checks in a week.
Senior health official Leong Iek Hou said in a Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday that the new round of testing would help ensure the city was “safe” for inbound travellers.
She added that Macau needed to be “well-prepared” for the resumption of mainland China’s electronic processing of Macau-bound e-visa applications, and the anticipated return of mainland tour groups from selected areas referred to by the authorities as “Four provinces and One City”.
The resumption of package tours from China would be gradual, Macau authorities had mentioned previously. Initially the package tour visitors would be from the provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian, and the city of Shanghai.
Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, said last week that China’s goverment had given its blessing for a mooted extension of Macau’s airport, which will involve some land reclamation work. He said it was a number of national government policy moves that would help Macau’s tourism sector.
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