Lao Airlines resumed its flight service to the central capital of Changsha in China’s Hunan province on Friday, after a long hiatus due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The flight from Vientiane to Changsha is set to fly twice weekly on Monday and Friday as an increasing number of tourists and business travelers move across the region. Authorities believe that more connectivity between Laos and China will also boost trade and general economic activity between the two countries.
Director of Lao Airlines’ Commercial Department, Mr. Noudeng Chanthaphasouk, told Vientiane Times on Friday that the Vientiane-Changsha flight was in high demand before the pandemic, and many tourists and businesses used it. Even this time around, despite tickets only being on sale for two days before the first flight, it was 80 percent full.
“Many Chinese operating businesses in Laos come from Hunan province and many of them own shops in the Xang Jieng Market in Vientiane. That’s why the Vientiane-Changsha flight is so popular among businesspeople,” he said.
Mr. Noudeng also mentioned that Lao Airlines has received positive feedback from the Chinese market and plans to add more flights to China, to help facilitate tourism and business-related activities between the two nations. This will not only help revive tourism in Laos but also improve the country’s connectivity with the wider region and grow its economy.
Apart from Changsha, the flag carrier also operates flights to Kunming, and Guangzhou in China and also plans to start its services on more routes like Vientiane to Shanghai, Chengdu, Changzhou and Hangzhou.