Betty Baziana, partner of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, was among the passengers of the first direct flight by Air China between Beijjing and Athens on Saturday morning.
Mrs Baziana was named Visiting Professor at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications (BUPT) last Wednesday at a special event in Beijing.
Air China will link the two capitals twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday. Flights will be made with Airbus 330-200, and the journey time will be about 10 and a half hours.
There was a ceremony attended by Greek officials and Chinese diplomats at the arrivals hall of the Eleftherios Venizelos airport, a sign of the importance attached by both sides to the strengthening of the Sino-Greek relations.
The Greek government hopes that direct flights will foster economic and cultural exchanges and will give a strong impetus to Greek tourism, as in recent years there has been a steady increase in visitors from China, which the Greek side seeks to encourage even more.
(Photos: ANA -MPA)