[photopress:air_berlin.jpg,full,alignright]Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, will launch direct flights from Dusseldorf to Beijing and Shanghai starting in May.
Xu Shengli, an official from the Beijing office of the Berlin Tourism Board, said the two services were an initial step to expand China-Germany flights and more direct flights would be launched in 2008.
At present, four cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong – have direct air connections with Frankfurt and Munich.
An increasing number of Chinese tourists have visited Germany since it won Approved Destination Status in 2003. From January to August this year, Chinese tourists spent more than 600,000 days in Germany, up 1.7% over the same period in 2006.
The German National Tourist Board predicts the figure will reach 1 million days in 2008.