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Hainan Free Trade Port boosts economic cooperation with new flight routes

By CHEN BOWEN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-04


Sanya's first flight using the fifth freedom of air right opens in Hainan province on Dec 1. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

On Friday, a flight from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, landed at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport in South China's Hainan province at 9:36 am.

A few passengers disembarked to explore Sanya for tourism, while the rest stayed at the airport for check-in. Afterward, the flight proceeded to Singapore. This seamless journey from Phnom Penh to Singapore through Sanya highlighted the inauguration of Hainan's new passenger flight routes under the fifth freedom of the air.

The fifth freedom of the air refers to the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to put down and to take on, in the territory of the first State, traffic coming from or destined to a third State. It is considered an important indicator of regional openness and business environment.

Its opening showcases that the Hainan Free Trade Port has moved toward the world's highest level of openness, and it has built a more convenient air passage for personnel exchanges between Cambodia, China and Singapore, promoting economic and cultural cooperation and exchange, according to Hainan Airport Group.

"The opening can bring a large number of international transit passenger and cargo flow to Hainan, enhance the influence of the 'Air Silk Road', provide strong support for the Sanya Phoenix International Airport to build an international airport hub, and assist in the construction of the core area of Hainan's international tourism consumption center," said Han Luhai, chairman of Sanya Phoenix International Airport.

"We will utilize the visa-free entry policies of 59 countries, improve our international tourism reception capacity, upgrade and optimize tourism products according to the needs of tourists from different countries and regions, and stimulate the vitality of inbound tourism consumption," said Albert Yip, director-general of Sanya Tourism Promotion.