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The new route, launched by Juneyao Air, is hailed by business leaders as a huge economic boost for Manchester and the north of England.
Manchester and the Northern Powerhouse will soon have a direct flight route to the economic heartbeat of China.
Juneyao Air has announced that, from March 2020, it will operate three weekly flights between Manchester International Airport and Shanghai.
It’s estimated that, currently, 180,000 people and businesses from within the catchment area of Manchester International already travel to Shanghai. Experts have welcomed the opening of this new route to help grow these numbers further.
Shanghai is home to 25 million people, boasts the world’s busiest container port, and is regarded as one of the most integral commercial and financial hubs in Asia. Therefore, this new route has been hailed as establishing exciting new investment links between Shanghai and the North of England.
“This news underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting people and businesses across the North to the world’s most important markets,” commented Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport.
“We have seen first-hand how new routes to high-growth economies can unlock significant trade, cultural and knowledge exchange opportunities and this will be no different.”
In 2016, Hainan Airlines launched a direct flight route between Beijing and Manchester. This connection has been widely praised, with the north of England recording a 38% increase in Chinese visitors, 94% boost in average spend per visit, and 41% rise in exports value during this time.
With more investment spreading to Manchester and the north from the Far East, it’s hoped that the new Shanghai route will now have a similarly positive impact on Manchester’s economy.
“Juneyao Air is delighted to launch its first fifth-freedom route to Manchester, and we look forward to developing Manchester’s traffic growth in the coming years,” said Wang Junjin, Chairman of Juneyao Air.
“This route will further promote Greater Manchester’s tourism, as well giving Britain an opportunity to boost its trade and investment links to China.”
Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, added: “Forging closer links between China and the Northern Powerhouse is crucial to increasing the contribution the North makes to the UK economy and reinforces the role of Manchester Airport as the global, long-haul gateway to the North – a Heathrow for the North bringing investment, growth and skilled jobs to the region.”
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