Alexander Lukashin, head of global public affairs in Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, speaks at a news conference in Beijing on January 19, 2017. (Photo/Provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
With substantial growth of passengers between China and Russia, China has become an increasingly important strategic market for Aeroflot, said Alexander Lukashin, head of the company's global public affairs, on Thursday in Beijing.
"We have always regarded China as one of the most important markets and we believe that the bilateral political, economic and cultural relations between China and Russia would be continuously strengthened in the future," said Lukashin.
With 258 aircraft flying to 153 destinations in 51 countries, Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, the largest airline in Russia, carried 1.13 million passengers to or from China 2015.
At present, Aeroflot has two flights to Beijing, two flights to Shanghai, one flight to Hong Kong departing from the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow daily and 11 flights weekly to Guangzhou.
"China is one of Aeroflot's top key markets. Beijing and Shanghai are some of the most popular routes. The passenger traffic on or from the Chinese destinations is continuously growing," added Lukashin.
According to the China National Administration, Russia was the third-largest outbound destination for Chinese tourists during the National Day holiday period in 2016.
In the first nine months of 2016, China became the No 1 non-Commonwealth of Independent States country in terms of visitors to Russia.
"Cooperation between Russia and China has been actively improving in recent years, and increasing numbers of Chinese open up Russia and see it as a great destination, for unique cultural experience, leisure and shopping," said Lukashin.
China has become the world's largest outbound tourism market and the world's fourth-largest tourist destination, China National Tourism Administration said in December.