Airport starts operation at north China’s imperial resort

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An airport has been built and put into operation in northern China’s Chengde city, a local airport company said.

On Wednesday, a plane took off from Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, and landed at Chengde Puning airport after hour-long flight, said Yang Hongji, general manager of Chengde Airport.

Though both cities belong to the same province, it takes seven hours to drive from Shijiazhuang to Chengde.

Construction of the airport, which cost 1.62 billion yuan (about 236 million U.S. dollars), started in 2013 and was finished at the end of last year, according to Yang.

“The airport is part of efforts to build links between cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei,” he said.

In the future, more routes will open linking Chengde to Shenzhen, Harbin, Chongqing, Sanya, Shanghai and other cities.

Chengde Mountain Resort, an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, served emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In 2016, Chengde city received 46.36 million tourists, up 38.4 percent. Tourist spending totalled 50.6 billion yuan (about 7.4 billion U.S. dollars).

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