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Spanish airline to launch direct flights to China

    MADRID, May 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Another Spanish airline company announced Wednesday it will launch direct passenger flights from Madrid to China's Beijing and Shanghai as of July 4.

    The flight will leave Madrid for Beijing on Monday and return to Madrid on Wednesday. On the other route, the plane will leave Madrid on Friday, heading for Shanghai via Barcelona, Spain's second largest city. It will fly back to Madrid on Saturday, the Air Plus Comet airline company said.

    Last week, Spain's Air Europa airline company launched its non-stop flights between Madrid and Beijing and Shanghai, which are the first direct flights between the two countries after China's Eastern Airlines suspended its China-Spain flight.

    Spain's Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Jose Montilla said the new routes will promote Spain-China exchanges intourism, economy and trade.

    About 36,000 Spanish tourists visited China and about 20,000 Chinese tourists came to Spain last year, he said.

    China's Eastern Airlines launched its direct Shanghai-Madrid flight in June 1992 but canceled it in November 2003 after years of losses. Enditem

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