Updated - Adds video with prime minister's comments - Hainan Airlines managers were in Malta recently to discuss the possibility of direct flights to China, according to the Chinese Ambassador to Malta.
Cai Jinbiao said he had been informed about the talks by the Maltese Ambassador in Beijing but declined to say whether the discussions were with the Maltese government or with Air Malta.
Hainan is the largest privately owned air transport company and the fourth largest Chinese airline in terms of fleet size but its 500 domestic and international routes only reach a few European countries.
When asked whether Hainan could be interested in taking a stake in Air Malta, Mr Cai said he did not have any other details about the talks, other than that the
fact that they were first looking at a charter operation and then scheduled flights.
However, when asked to comment, the prime minister told Times of Malta said the visit had nothing to do with any strategic partnership.
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