China Eastern restarts Hong Kong-Yantai flights

17 Sep 2012

China Eastern Airlines on September 12 restarted its flights between Hong Kong and Yantai, a city on the east coast of the mainland with a large port and a special export zone.

The airline flies twice weekly to between the two cities. Flight MU5040 departs Hong Kong at 1700 on Wednesday and Saturday, landing at 2000. Flight MU5029 leaves from Yantai at 1240 on the same days and lands back in Hong Kong at 1540.

Yantai is located 220km north of Qingdao on the Shandong Peninsula that faces South Korea across the East China Sea. It is a major port, handling a growing amount of cargo. Last year, Yantai and another port on the tip of the peninsula, Weihai, joined up with Qingdao and Rizhao further south to form a strategic alliance with Busan, South Korea's largest port. The goal was to create a shipping and logistics hub in Northeast Asia.

The city is also home to the Yantai Export Processing Zone, opened in September 2009 to facilitate the export of goods from China by offering favourable policies to companies locating there. According to the zone's official website, it has attracted foreign investors from numerous countries including Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sweden, US and Canada.

China Eastern previously operated Hong Kong to Yantai flights between 1997 and 2004, and in the summer months of 2005 and 2006, according to industry website 

The airline also connects Yantai with Seoul in Korea and Osaka in Japan, which are the only two non-Chinese destinations with direct flights to the Chinese city. With increased foreign investment going into Yantai, Hong Kong can potentially become the transit hub for investors from other parts of the world.

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Nicholas Olczak

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