A major milestone in the drive to create a Northern Powerhouse, as the first ever direct, scheduled flight from anywhere outside of London to mainland China launches, from Manchester Airport. Also hailed as a significant moment for UK aviation, the Hainan Airlines service to Beijing takes off from Manchester Airport today (June 10). The four times a week route will link Manchester and Beijing, opening up a wealth of trade and tourism opportunities. The flights will provide a direct connection for the first time, giving the 100,000 passengers travelling each year between the two cities the convenience of direct scheduled services.
The Manchester-Beijing route is worth at least £250 million in economic benefits to the UK over the next decade. Two-thirds of this will be felt directly in the Northern economy in terms of increased jobs, economic activity and tourism. By providing a non-stop service, the new route will also generate journey time savings worth £5 million every year for business passengers and avoid the inconvenience of changing planes at another airport. See the Manchester Airport press release: http://bit.ly/1U4Erx0
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The new route between Manchester and Beijing is a testament to the strength of the Northern Powerhouse, opening up the North of England to investment while benefitting the many thousands of people who currently travel between the cities each year.
“Not only will this add an estimated quarter of a billion pounds to the local economy over the next decade, it will open new opportunities for businesses in both countries, boost tourism between China and the UK and will encourage students in both countries to experience studying in a new and different culture. This is an exciting new development for Manchester, the North of England and the UK.”
Watch this video by the GCS Local Campaigns Team (North).