China, UAE shaping 'Silk Road in the Sky'
Ningxia (China), September 15, 2013
A 'Silk Road in the Sky' linking eastern and western Asia is taking shape and is set to shorten the distance between China and the UAE, providing new development opportunities for Arabian countries, said officials at a key meeting in China.
The high-level meeting, held at the western Chinese city of Yinchua, was attended by the officials of the Civil Aviation Administration of China and major Chinese airlines along with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and several UAE-based airlines including Emirates.
Following recent talks over bilateral air transport, China announced that it will grant third, fourth and fifth freedom traffic rights between Yinchuan Hedong International Airport and destinations in the UAE and will allow Emirates to operate four Dubai-Yinchuan-Zhengzhou flights every week.
A spokesperson for the department of commerce of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region said: "Granting freedom traffic rights paves the way for operating new routes linking Yinchuan with other Arab countries and Muslim regions. The Silk Road in the Sky is becoming a reality."
In fact, the opening up of the Silk Road in the Sky dates back to two years ago. On May 11, 2011, Yinchuan-Kunming-Dubai scheduled passenger and cargo flights, the first international flights to and from Ningxia, commenced service.
This took place one year after the first Arab States Expo was held in Ningxia.
Taking place on the eve of the convening of the 2013 Arab States Expo, China's granting of the fifth freedom traffic rights between Yinchuan airport and the UAE means that Ningxia is on track to become a major transshipment port between China and the Mideast, said the officials.
The granting also means that after flying from Dubai to Yinchuan and loading and unloading passengers and cargo, aircraft from Emirates can fly on to other countries.
'The Silk Road in the Sky' serves as a new bridge between China and the Arab states, said senior civil aviation authorities of both China and the UAE.
We will take Yinchuan airport's granting of freedom traffic rights as an opportunity to allow more Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries to open up flights via Yinchuan, promoting the establishment of an airline network with Yinchuan as the hub and moving toward the goal of transforming the airport into an important portal," said a spokesperson for the department of commerce and port office of Ningxia.-TradeArabia News Service