MEXICO CITY – Airline connections between China and Mexico got a boost Tuesday when China Southern Airlines’ first flight on the Guangzhou-Vancouver-Mexico City route landed at Mexico City International Airport (MEX).
This route “will allow a significant increase in tourist traffic from one of Mexico’s principal markets on the Asian continent,” the Mexican Tourism Secretariat (Sectur) said in a bulletin.
In welcoming the Chinese delegation of government officials, business owners, executives and tourists at the terminal, Sectur’s undersecretary of planning and policy, Salvador Sanchez, said that one of the main challenges to keeping the tourism industry growing is finding ways to make each destination more attractive and therefore more competitive.
The president of China Southern Airlines, Wang Changshun, hailed the “successful” landing of the airliner on the first air route to Mexico by the civil aviation industry of continental China.
China Southern Airlines is one of the largest, most important companies in Asia with 700 airliners, Sectur said.
China itself is an important source of tourists and in 2016 Mexico welcomed some 74,300 visitors, an increase of 33.5 percent over 2015 that made it Mexico’s second most important Asian market.
Sectur expects that in 2017 Mexico will receive approximately 102,000 Chinese visitors.
Total trade between Guangzhou and Mexico is estimated to have shot up to some $10.5 billion in 2016, including more than $8 billion in exports of products like telephones, machinery and electrical devices.
China Southern Airlines will operate the new route with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, between Guangzhou and Mexico City via Vancouver, with three flights a week.