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Xiamen Air sees city as a key to growth
    Xiamen Airlines opened a Shanghai branch yesterday to tap the demands of local travelers and contribute to the city’s ambition to become a major aviation hub.
    Based in the popular tourist city in southeast Fujian Province, it became the third domestic airline from outside Shanghai, following Air China and China Southern, to open a branch in the city.
    Previously, the airline operated in Shanghai with a business department. The establishment of the branch means it will manage and deploy its own fleet and open more international and domestic routes leaving from the city.
    The airline has opened flights from Shanghai to major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Chongqing. It operates 48 daily flights to or from the city’s Hongqiao and Pudong airports with over 2 million passengers a year.
    With the Shanghai branch, the carrier plans to increase the frequency of its existing flights as well as open new routes. It will focus on the Shanghai-Fujian route to become a major carrier operating routes between Shanghai and southeast Chinese cities.
    Additional flights have been planned between Shanghai and Chengdu in southwest Sichuan Province, Harbin in northeast Heilongjiang Province, Kunming in southwest Yunnan Province, Sanya on southern Hainan Island and Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
    International flights from Shanghai to Southeast Asia, Europe and America are planned after 2020.
    The airline plans to deploy 15 aircraft to Shanghai by 2020, which will be increased to 33 in 2025 and finally reach 50. It plans to transport over 7 million passengers by 2025.
    As the airline opens its Shanghai branch, it will focus on east China, especially the Yangtze River Delta region, said Zhao Dong, Xiamen Airlines’ president.
    The opening of the Shanghai branch marks its entry to the already fierce competition in the rapidly growing local civil aviation market.

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