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Lao Airlines plans more flights to China in coming months

As China eases Covid-19 restrictions, Lao Airlines plans to operate more flights to cities in the northern neighbour, whose citizens are now taking the opportunity to travel and explore the world.
Additional flights are expected to come into operation next month or in March, Director of the airline’s Commercial Department, Mr Noudeng Chanthaphasouk, told Vientiane Times.

Crew members are preparing for passengers to get on board. Photo Lao Airlines.

“We have sent a request to China say that we would like to operate daily flights to Kunming, as well as to other destinations, and are waiting for a response,” he said.
The national flag carrier currently operates three flights a week from Vientiane to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province.
In its request, Lao Airlines suggested additional flights from Vientiane to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Changzhou and Hangzhou.
The airline also plans to increase the number of flights from Luang Prabang and Champassak to China.
Lao Airlines has seen a surge in seat reservations by Chinese in Laos as they head home for the Chinese Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, which runs from January 21-27.
“Flights to Kunming are fully booked until January 15 but there are still seats available on return flights,” Mr Noudeng said.
The director added that the airline is currently able to meet passenger demand for flights.
The planned increase in flights comes as the airline foresees a spike in demand for air travel in the world’s most populous country, where people are now eager to take holidays after almost three years of restrictions.
In a momentous and long-awaited decision, China announced on January 8 it was reopening its borders and allowing people to leave and enter the country.
During the first two days (Sunday and Monday), more than 1,200 people passed through the Laos-China border at the Boten-Mohan international border crossing.
People who hold business, visit, study, diplomatic, official and other types of visa can now cross the border, although tourist visas are not yet accepted.
Lao authorities expect that tourist visas will be accepted at this border crossing after Chinese New Year. 

By Souksamai Boulom
 (Latest Update January 12, 2023)


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