Manchester Airport Expanding Ties to China
New Direct Routes Announced; Development of China Cluster to Attract Asian Businesses
Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom may be securing a direct flight to Shanghai, China’s biggest city and a global financial hub.
The airline is the first stage in the process to secure a four times a week service, scheduled to launch in 2016.
The route from Shanghai Pudong International Airport would be Manchester Airport’s third route to China. If approved by the authorities in China, the airline would then need to apply to the UK Department of Transport.
Once all those approvals are secured, Air China could then start to work with Manchester Airport.
A Manchester Airport spokesperson noted that Air China’s application for a route to Shanghai is at “the first stage of a very long process.”
The Air China application follows the inauguration of a new direct flight from Manchester to Beijing, announced last month by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Last December, Cathay Pacific launched its direct route to Hong Kong.
Hainan Airlines will begin operating the new route between Manchester and Beijing Capital International Airport from June 2016, with four journeys a week. That will make Manchester the only UK airport outside of London to offer direct scheduled services to mainland China.
Experts estimate the Manchester-Beijing route will be worth $380 million to the UK over the next ten years.
Manchester is also planning a China Cluster project near the airport, aimed to attract businesses from the Far East.
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