The new Hainan Airlines’ Beijing route is a massive boost for Manchester that is set to have a hugely positive effect on the city’s university, investment and economy.
On the 10th June the first direct flight to mainland China took off, making Manchester the first airport outside of London to provide direct flights to the second biggest market in the world.
Analysts forecast that this connection could add around £500 million to the Manchester economy as well as making life a lot easier for business travelers to fly from the city. Around 100,000 fly to China indirectly from Manchester every year so having a direct route will be a major positive.
With a Cathay Pacific route to Hong Kong already in place from Manchester, this latest route will further cement ties between the north west of England to China. The addition of an Air China service to Shanghai expected in 12 months’ time will be the icing on the cake.
The first direct flight from Manchester to China was quite an occasion with dignitaries and politicians attending the event. These were joined by business travelers, overseas students, the Manchester Airport Choir and a Chinese Dragon in Terminal Two!
Transport Minister Andrew Jones, who was at the event, said “the flight is a major boost to the Northern Powerhouse and recognition of the strength of the northern economy as a whole. The ties between China and the UK are deepening and you see that more in Manchester than anywhere else in the country.”
Interestingly around a third of all Chinese students in the UK, study in Manchester, and this new route opens the door further for Chinese students to come to the city. If you add business and tourism to this mix, it is expected that around 80,000 passengers will take the route in and out of Manchester in the first year, bringing millions to the local economy.