Air route opened between central China, Middle East

Central China's metropolis of Wuhan opened a direct air route with Dubai on Tuesday afternoon.

It is the first air route linking Wuhan, a city along the Yangtze River with a population of more than 10 million, with the Middle East region.

The maiden flight with an Airbus A330 took off at 3:25 p.m. from Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, and landed at 9:05 p.m. local time in Dubai, the business hub of the United Arab Emirates.

The flight will run every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, according to China Southern Airlines, the operator of the flight.

More than 85 percent of the seats available in January have been booked, said Cai Zhizhou, general manager of China Southern Airlines' Hubei branch.

Dubai received 500,000 Chinese tourists in 2015, up 47 percent year on year, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the principal authority for the planning and marketing of tourism in Dubai.