Calcutta will have a second direct flight to mainland China from July 12, 2011, when Hainan Airlines, the first airline from China to earn the Skytrax five-star award, starts services to Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong. This was informed through a press note received here. According to Mr. Li Li, the general manager of the airline's city office, there will be three flights a week on Tue/Thu/Sat from Calcutta departing at 6.00 pm and arriving Shenzhen at 11.55 pm.  From Shenzhen the flights will leave on the same days at 3.25 pm (local time) and touch down in Calcutta at 4.45 pm.
Hainan, part of the $50 billion HNA Group of China, will operate a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 160 seats including 8 in Business class offering an introductory return fare of Rs 13000 ( excluding taxes ).  Also as part of the promotion, passengers can avail of a free coach service from Shenzhen airport to Hongkong, just 45 minutes by road. Buses are also available at a reasonable price from the airport to Guangzhou in Guangdong province which is less than 2 hours away. "Besides, for an additional Rs 1500, one can fly to any one of the three destinations of Chengdu (Sichuan province), Changsha (Hunan province) or Ningbo (seaport city of Zhejiang province)," Li said.
Visa can be obtained from the Chinese Consulate in Salt Lake, Calcutta.
Shenzhen with its mild, subtropical oceanic climate, and only three-and-a-half hours away from Calcutta, could become a popular alternative to Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, according to travel agents.  There are many theme parks like the Happy Kingdom with sections representing regions around the world, the Window of the World with 130 world famous scenes, besides the Safari Park, the Waterlands Resort and the Sea World, not to mention world-class golf courses.
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