The only direct flights between the two countries are between Lisbon and Hangzhou, with around 53 million inhabitants, located on the east coast of the country.
The frequency of direct flights between Portugal and China is to increase from once to twice a week, starting this month, a source from Capital Airlines of China, which runs the service, has told Lusa.
The only direct flights between the two countries are between Lisbon and Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, one of China’s most prosperous provinces, with around 53 million inhabitants, located on the east coast of the country.
The flight was only on Saturdays but as of next week it is also to be on Wednesdays.
The connection suffered the consequences of the preventive measures adopted by China against Covid-19. Since 2020, it was reduced to once a week, originally to Xian, in central China.
The Xian authorities suspended the connection with Lisbon on December 25, 2021, at a time when the city was facing an outbreak of Covid-19, and only resumed the flight on June 12.
The airline then opted to switch the flights to to Hangzhou.
Under the “zero cases” strategy for Covid-19 of China’s national government, the country’s borders have been all but closed since March 2020. Arriving travellers must still serve a seven-day quarantine in government-designated facilities, with three more days at home after that.
Flights to China are also subject to a ‘circuit breaker’ policy, whereby if five or more cases are detected on board, the service is suspended for a week. If there are 10 or more cases, the connection is suspended for a fortnight.
The shortage of flights to and from China has resulted in a sharp rise in prices: a one-way economy class ticket for the Lisbon-Hangzhou route, currently costs almost €3,000.