Both airports in Shanghai and Hong Kong saw a sharp increase of travelers from each other since Hong Kong's return to China a decade ago.
According to figures released by the entry and exit administration of Shanghai, more than 2.6 million travelers arrived in Shanghai, the largest city on the Chinese mainland, on flights from the HKSAR in the past 10 years, and in the meantime 2.4 million mainlanders flew to Hong Kong from Shanghai.
During the first year following the handover of the former British colony, 105,000 Hongkongers came to Shanghai. The number soared by 40 percent annually to more than 420,000 last year, but the increase was outpaced by travelers from Shanghai to the special administrative region, which was 52 percent annually on average.
In 1997 a mere 3,000 flights flew the air route from Shanghai to Hong Kong, which jumped to 23,000 flights in the first half of this year, or one flight in every 30 minutes.
The connections between the two major cities have gone beyond just visiting relatives. Now Hong Kong travelers go to Shanghai to also meet friends, go sight-seeing and seek business opportunities.