The direct flight between the two countries departs from Lisbon, heading to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, one of the most prosperous in China, with around 53 million inhabitants, located on the east coast of the Asian country.

The flight only took place on Thursdays and Saturdays, however, from this week onwards it will also take place on Tuesday and Sunday. The operation will continue to be carried out by A330 aircraft.

The connection suffered the consequences of the prevention measures adopted by China against Covid-19. From 2020 onwards it took place only once a week, originally heading to Xian, in central China.

The authorities in Xian suspended the connection with Lisbon on December 25, 2021, at a time when the city was facing an outbreak of covid-19, and only resumed the flight on June 12, 2022.

The airline then chose to fly to Hangzhou and, in September 2022, increased the frequency to twice a week.

Under the "zero cases" strategy of COVID-19, the Asian country kept its borders practically closed for almost three years: anyone arriving from abroad had to complete a quarantine period of up to 21 days, in hotels designated by the government, while the number of air connections to the country was reduced to 02%, compared to the period before the pandemic.

Earlier this year, the country dismantled the strategy, but regional data shows that the number of visitors remains far below the 2019 level. China has not published official statistics on tourism at the national level since 2021.

More than 385,000 Chinese visited Portugal in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. Tourists from China spent a total of 224 million euros in the country, an increase of 20% compared to 2018, according to data from Turismo de Portugal.