In a boost for our region’s businesses and tourism sector, Hainan Airlines is increasing flight frequency between Manchester and Beijing to a daily service next summer.
The carrier currently operates flights between Manchester and China’s Capital four times a week but is expanding to a daily service between June and September 2024, almost doubling the capacity of flights.
The news confirms Manchester’s status as the Gateway to the North and helps to position it as a truly international city.
Passengers will be able to make the most of the comforts of the airline’s modern and spacious Airbus A330 aircraft during the 10-hour journey, which will depart at 12.15pm each day. Tickets in economy and business class for summer 2024 are now on sale.
Manchester airport became the first UK hub outside of London to gain a direct flight to mainland China when Hainan Airlines started its service to Beijing in 2016. However, the route was suspended for more than two years during the pandemic until August 2022.
The Chinese airline’s partnership with Loganair means passengers from Aberdeen, Inverness, Isle of Man and Newquay can connect via an airside transfer at Manchester.
Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director at Manchester Airport said: “From next summer, we will become the only UK airport outside London offering daily direct flights to mainland China, meaning we are able to connect the people of the region to one of the most important economies in the world, and vice versa.
“Hainan Airlines’ decision to operate a daily Beijing flight from Manchester is testament to the success of the current service. More than 350,000 passengers have used it since it was first launched seven years ago.
“We know the route is also extremely popular with Chinese visitors. We are a gateway to some of the most vibrant cities and beautiful countryside the UK has to offer, and the daily service is fantastic news for tourism, businesses, and universities across our region – as well as for Manchester’s Chinese community.”
Peter Han, General Manager at Hainan Airlines UK added: “We are thrilled to be almost doubling capacity on our Manchester to Beijing service next summer with a daily flight.
“There is a lot of demand for travel between the North of England and China, in both directions. This expansion of our service will allow us to meet demand over the busy summer season and marks an exciting new chapter for our operation at Manchester airport.”
Victoria Braddock, Managing Director Marketing Manchester said: “China holds a pivotal role in Greater Manchester’s global market, and we are delighted that Hainan Airlines are returning to daily flights between Beijing and Manchester next summer. This enhanced connectivity will offer a significant boost to the visitor economy, as demonstrated by the region’s pre-Covid spend of £260m.
“Beyond economic advantages, this increase in flight frequency creates a multitude of opportunities for trade and tourism across the region, positively influencing sectors such as accommodation, retail, restaurants, and attractions.
“Additionally, this increased service will be crucial in supporting the city’s large Chinese student population, promoting cultural exchange, and providing greater educational opportunities. We look forward to welcoming more Chinese visitors who choose Greater Manchester as a place to visit, work, study, and invest.”
Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership said “We know that the Asia is responsible for a sizeable proportion of the increase in foreign direct investment we’ve seen to our region in recent years and this improved connectivity to Beijing should help to accelerate that.
“Manchester Airport plays a vital role in the Northern economy as our gateway to the rest of the world.
“International connectivity is vital if the North of England is serious about developing our global reputation, supporting our universities as well as building trade and tourism links.”