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First intercontinental flight of 2023 takes off from Ningbo to Budapest

The first direct flight from Ningbo to Budapest takes off. (Photo by Fan Hong)

On the afternoon of May 29, Ningbo celebrated the inauguration of its first intercontinental flight this year with a direct passenger flight from Ningbo to Budapest. This significant milestone brings Ningbo closer to Central and Eastern Europe, fostering stronger ties between the two regions.

A testament to the friendship between Ningbo and Budapest

Budapest, the captivating capital of Hungary, is renowned as the "Paris of Eastern Europe" and the "Pearl of the Danube." It boasts numerous scenic attractions, including the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and the Heroes' Square. The connection between Budapest and Ningbo dates back to November 2015 when Ningbo Airport and Budapest Airport signed a collaboration agreement to facilitate comprehensive cooperation in passenger and cargo market development, flight planning, and personnel exchanges.

In June 2016, Ningbo Airport introduced direct passenger charter flights to Budapest during the 2nd China-CEEC Expo & Trade and Investment Fair. This initiative witnessed over a thousand Ningbo citizens embarking on tour groups to Budapest, sparking a tourism boom in Central and Eastern Europe.

Fast forward to May 26, 2021, when the first direct cargo flight to Central and Eastern Europe took flight. The Ningbo-Budapest cargo flight transported daily necessities and e-commerce products, opening new avenues for trade and commerce.

Further strengthening the ties between the two cities, on July 10, 2022, 36 foreign trade personnel from Ningbo and Shanghai embarked on a chartered flight, MU7101, from Ningbo Airport to Budapest. This 12-day "order-to-be-sure tour" marked the first round-trip chartered flight for foreign business staff in China, reinforcing cultural and economic exchanges.

The frequent interactions between Ningbo and Budapest, whether through cultural communication or economic collaboration, have set the stage for the inaugural flight of this year, symbolizing the deepening bond between the two cities.

Save time! Fly direct from Ningbo to Europe

Yesterday afternoon at 13:00, Wang Qiuqin, a tour guide from Ningbo International Travel Service, provided travelers with important information and reminders for their trip at the airport.

Leading a group of 33 travelers, Wang Qiuqin noticed the excitement among the group members, many of whom were embarking on their first outbound trip in three years.

This trip was especially convenient, as expressed by Chen Longyu, the Deputy General Manager of Ningbo Oranda International Trade Company. As an experienced "old foreign trader," he mentioned that this time he was traveling purely for leisure. His company has established business cooperation with various companies in Central and Eastern European countries, and in the past, he would have had to take flights from Shanghai with layovers in Frankfurt to reach his destinations. With the direct flight, he happily shared that they can now save at least a dozen hours in travel time.

Shen Qiuyan, the Deputy General Manager of Ningbo International Travel Service, highlighted the significance of the Ningbo-Budapest direct flight, which allows citizens of Ningbo and surrounding cities to travel directly from Ningbo to Europe for both leisure and business purposes. Budapest serves as a crucial transportation hub, providing convenient connections to other cities across Europe.

The introduction of the direct flight also facilitates the enhancement of tourism products. According to Shen, a long-term initiative is being launched in Zhejiang Province, where they plan to organize 100 tour groups consisting of thousands of people to travel to Central and Eastern European countries. This endeavor aims to foster people-to-people exchanges between the two regions.

Currently, travel agencies in Ningbo are actively promoting tourism products in Central and Eastern European countries. For instance, they are offering attractive itineraries such as "Hungary + Slovenia + Croatia" and "Hungary + Croatia + Serbia," which span nine days and cost between 15,800 and 16,800 yuan

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