MACAO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The governments of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Japan Wednesday signed here the Air Services Agreement, which was aimed at strengthening the air link between the two sides.
The signing ceremony was held at the SAR's Government Headquarters, and it was the first air pact officially signed after the formation of the new SAR government in December 2009.
With the conclusion of the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two sides, "I am confident that the tourism market as well as the development of trade and commerce between Macao and Japan can further be enhanced", said Lau Si Io, the SAR's secretary for transport and public works, at the signing ceremony.
Under the new air pact, the restriction on airline designation and flight capacity will be lifted, and the Air Macao, the SAR's flagship airline, will operate three weekly scheduled flights between Macao and Tokyo starting from March 28 this year.
Japan possesses rich tourism resources and has always been a popular destination among the Macao residents, while Macao, being listed as the 31st designated World Heritage site in China, is also an attractive tourist destination with mixed cultures of East and West, said Lau.
The number of Japanese tourists visiting Macao has risen by an average of 30 percent year-on-year for the past five years, and they ranked No. 4 in the SAR's inbound tourist market, according to the figures from the SAR government.
Currently, Air Macao operates a daily flight between Macao and Osaka, and Viva Macao flies to Tokyo with four weekly frequencies.