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New Xi’an-Samarkand flights launched by Loong Air

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Loong Air has launched a new direct service between Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province and Samarkand International Airport in Uzbekistan.

The first flight landed at Samarkand at 12:08 local time yesterday (Sunday), and was given a traditional water cannon welcome upon arrival on the taxiway.

Passengers, who included a delegation of airline executives, tour operators and representatives of the Chinese media, were also greeted with a traditional Uzbek welcome of karnaya and surnaya folk music.

Ulugbek Shamsikulov, general director of Air Marakanda – operator of Samarkand International Airport – said: “The opening of direct flights to Xi’an will have a positive impact on both the cultural and economic development linking our countries, as we begin to build the tourism potential of both cities.”

Flights on this route will be operated twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, with an Airbus 320 aircraft designed to carry 174 passengers.

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