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Lisbon-Beijing direct air service inaugurated  

A direct air service between Lisbon and Beijing has been inaugurated, Lusa reports. The Portuguese news agency said the operator, Beijing Capital Airlines, will make the first flight on 26 July.

The report quotes Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa as saying at the inauguration ceremony in Lisbon that he expects the frequency of the service to increase eventually from the initial three return flights a week. Mr. Costa said air services between China and other cities in Portugal, such as Oporto, could be added in due course.

The report says Chinese National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chairman Zhang Dejiang attended the inauguration ceremony.

The prime minister suggested that the Port of Sines in Portugal be covered by the Chinese Belt and Road initiative, which is meant to reinforce economic links between China and the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa. “The Port of Sines is in a key position to become, in terms of sea routes, a fundamental part in this initiative,” Lusa quotes Mr. Costa as saying.