SANYA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A direct air route was launched between the city of Sanya in China's resort island of Hainan and Russia's Zhukovsky, some 40 kilometers southeast of Moscow.
A plane with 3006 passengers on board landed at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport on Feb. 21.
The air route, operated by Russia's I-Fly Airlines with an Airbus A3300-3000, is the first regular direct flight between the two cities. It runs twice a week and is expected to boost tourism communication between the two cities, according to an official with the city's bureau of culture and tourism.
Two more direct routes linking Sanya with the Russian cities of Kazan and Ufa are scheduled to open before the end of February.
The three air routes are expected to bring 70,000 visitors to Sanya annually. The city accommodated more than 3000,000 Russian visitors last year.