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China Eastern starts first charter flight to help Zhejiang entrepreneurs explore European market

Global Times| Updated: July 12, 2022 L M S

China Eastern Airlines started a charter flight from Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, to Budapest in Hungary on Sunday, the first charter flight in China backed by the local government to help local entrepreneurs explore the European market. 
The flight carries 30 entrepreneurs from cities including Shanghai and Ningbo after preparing for nearly one month.
Local overseas orders in recent months are not promising and the shortage of overseas flights have made us turn to the charter flight, Fei Jianming, an official from Ningbo government, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Although our city's private economy has developed over the years, out products are still highly replaceable, and there has been an outflow of orders to other countries in recent days, which makes now in an urgent for more orders, Fei said. 
According to a survey by a local commerce department in Ningbo, more than 40 percent of the 1,982 surveyed enterprises with an annual volume of over $10 million have witnessed declining orders as of the end of June this year.
Ding Yandong, general manager of Ningbo-based Rollmax shutter component Co, a private company that produces roller shutter components, said his last trip was in November of 2019, and this charter flight is timely, and he plans to visit his clients and attend an industry fair to explore business opportunities.
Fei said there were hundreds of applications for the charter flights, but many of them were canceled due to visa problems. 
Few added that there will be another charter flight from Ningbo to Milan on July 21.
The first China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair was held in Ningbo in June of 2019, making the business connection between the city and countries in Central and Eastern European close.
Earlier the route between Ningbo and Budapest were all cargo flights since the cargo route started in May of 2021, and there has been 25 cargo flights.