Hainan Airlines direct flights (4 per week) from Manchester to Beijing start on June 10th
Hainan Airlines will start flying (4 times per week) from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th, as the first direct service from the north of England to mainland China. There are already flights from Manchester to Hong Kong. Some businesses including tourism hope this “will deliver a major boost to the region.” The University of Manchester is reported to believe the link will be a significant benefit to students. Faster air links to emerging markets could boost UK exports (they could also boost UK imports, which generally exceed exports). There are the usual comments like: “The Manchester Airport expansion shows that the city is ready to become an outward looking economic powerhouse” and there is even an expectation that it “will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m” (no details or time-scale given …. it never is). Currently, more than 100,000 people from the North (about 6,350 from North Wales) fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs. Manchester hopes that the flights will bring “hundreds of thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.” North Wales Tourism and Bangor University have both praised the new service to Beijing and hope it “will unlock new opportunities for the area.” Many thousands more people will not need to use Heathrow for their travel to China.
Business leaders welcome stronger links to China
26 MAY 2016
BY LUCY ROUE (Manchester Evening News)
Hainan Airlines will start flying from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th. It is the first ever direct service from the North to mainland China.
Business leaders, university bosses and tourism chiefs say a new direct flight from the north west to China will deliver a major boost to the region.
Hainan Airlines will start flying from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10. It is the first ever direct service from the North to mainland China.
A host of business groups, as well as individual companies, have all praised the new service and believe it is a massive benefit to the region and will unlock new business opportunities for the region. Plus the University of Manchester believes it will be a massive benefit to students.
Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team, said: “Developing strong business ties with China is essential for securing solid economic growth across the UK. If we are to export more and develop stronger trade relationships we need faster access to emerging markets.
“The best way to do this is to strengthen the north west as a strong investment and export hub. The Manchester Airport expansion shows that the city is ready to become an outward looking economic powerhouse.
“The first direct flight to Beijing will help Siemens to export too – it is a route that will be well used by our people at the Siemens Digital Factory in nearby Congleton which exports 98% of its products, with China being one of its biggest markets.”
Currently, more than 100,000 people from the North fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs.
It is estimated the Hainan route – which will take 10.5 hours – will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m.
A large chunk of that will be felt across the north west, as a result of productivity gains for businesses; the stimulation of trade and inward investment between the Far East and the region and by bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.
Mike Perls, chair of IoD North West, said: “Transport links are vital in boosting trade and direct flights are particularly important for Northern exporters.
“China may be the world’s second biggest economy, but it is only sixth biggest destination for British goods and services – we export nearly the same amount to Belgium and Luxembourg.
“There is huge potential for Northern firms in Asia. We excel in financial and professional services, which will be increasingly attractive to these markets and the Manchester-China Forum highlights other key strengths. This isn’t just one way.
Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, added: “We know how important direct access to key markets like China is to stimulating trade and tourism for regions across the North.
“The north west has a strong business base covering a diverse range of sectors, with many companies already trading in the Far East, and so the existence of a non-stop route to Beijing will be of significant benefit.
“In addition, the service will hopefully encourage more businesses to start exporting their goods and services to this key market for the first time, while also being key to unlocking inward investment opportunities.”
Manchester Airport direct link to China will boost business and tourism in North Wales
25 MAY 2016 (Daily Post)
BY OWEN HUGHES
Tourism, business and university bosses have welcomed the flights between Manchester and Beijing
Hainan Airlines will start flying from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th
A direct flight from Manchester Airport to mainland China will help boost tourism, exporters, and universities in North Wales.
It is the first ever direct service from the North of England to mainland China.
North Wales Tourism and Bangor University have both praised the new service and believe it is a massive benefit to the region and will unlock new opportunities for the area.
Currently, 6,348 people from North Wales fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs.
The new four-weekly service will make Manchester the only airport outside of London with a direct year-round scheduled service to Mainland China and will be served by an Airbus A330-300. The cabin will have 32 business class seats and 260 in economy.
It is estimated the Hainan route – which will take 10.5 hours – will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m.
A large chunk of that will be felt in the region, as a result of productivity gains for businesses; the stimulation of trade and inward investment between the Far East and the region and by bringing thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.
Plus the recent addition of 40 direct rail services a week will deliver a significant boost to both leisure and business travellers wanting to access Manchester Airport, and this new route.
Jim Jones, managing director of North Wales Tourism said: “Everyone in North Wales warmly welcomes our Chinese friends and visitors. We are delighted with the news that Hainan Airlines will be flying direct four times a week into Manchester Airport.
“Manchester Airport is the international gateway for North Wales, which has so much to offer the Chinese visitor.
“Beautiful landscape, gardens, steeped in heritage and culture, with some of the leading adventure attractions in Europe.
“Once the new flights start in June it will be much easier for inbound Chinese tourists to access our lovely part of Great Britain.”
Bangor University currently has strong links with China with a campus in Changsha, direct flights will link the two locations, improving education opportunities between the two.
Frank Fitzmaurice, executive director of Marketing and Communications at Bangor University said: “Bangor University is widely recognised for our internationalisation and for the diversity of our campus, with almost 2,000 students from over 70 countries accounting for over 15% of our student numbers.
“As an example, we have grown our relationships in China to the point where we now operate a campus in Changsha with our Chinese partner university CSUFT, which further strengthens our position in that country.
“Manchester airport provides us with a vital link to these countries around the world. Combined with fast access via train and motorway, it means that our campus in Bangor in north-west Wales is within easy reach for our students from all over the world.
“This plays no small part in our successful marketing of the Bangor University brand internationally”
Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “We know how important direct access to key markets like China is to stimulating trade and tourism for regions across the North.
“North Wales has a strong business base covering a diverse range of sectors, with many companies already trading in the Far East, and so the existence of a non-stop route to Beijing will be of significant benefit.”
Direct flights from Manchester to Beijing, starting June 2016, announced on President Xi’s UK visit
Manchester airport started Cathay Pacific direct flights to Hong Kong in December 2014. Now with the state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK, the first ever direct air link between Beijing and Manchester has been formally unveiled. President Xi was joined at the airport by David Cameron for the announcement of the Hainan Airlines service, which will fly four times per week, from June 2016. There are the usual claims of huge impacts on the economy with the link contributing “£50m annually to the city’s economy” and the usual mentions of both economies being “open for business.” Also the “northern powerhouse.” There are also other “substantial cooperation agreements” being signed between the two countries, covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, scientific innovation, manufacturing and sports. The Manchester Airports Group has been keen to get direct Beijing flights for years, to link northern businesses to the Far East economies – and get high spending tourists. The Chinese state-owned Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG) has already invested heavily in Manchester’s “Airport City.” There is also to be a £130 million ‘China Cluster’ to provide a commercial base for Chinese businesses arriving in the UK, based around two campuses within the Manchester Airport City development.
Owner of Manchester and Stansted airports, MAG, unsurprisingly wants airport growth outside the south-east
The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which owns/runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports) says a new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the south-east. MAG wants a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in an even larger airport in the south-east. While Heathrow claims it would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, allegedly “with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs”, the Airports Commission’s own figures show negative impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway on the UK’s regional airports. MAG believes that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation, and provide “an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.” So unsurprisingly Heathrow and MAG are both speaking from a position of self interest. While the Airports Commission ended up, misguidedly, just looking at whether they should be a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, the main question of whether there should be a new runway in the south east at all still needs a convincing answer. MAG believes there is more likelihood of a successful “Northern Powerhouse” if northern airports get successful long haul routes, rather than Heathrow.
Manchester Airport £1 billion plans to improve airport to compete better with Heathrow on long haul routes
The owners of Manchester Airport, MAG, plan to invest £1 billion over 10 years to upgrade Britain’s 3rd largest airport and help it compete harder with Heathrow for passengers. While both Heathrow and Gatwick are hoping to be allowed to add another runway, Manchester has two runways already – the second barely used. It has been expanding its long-haul routes, giving passengers an alternative to travelling south to Heathrow, and it plans to add more such routes. Its CEO, Charlie Cornish said: “Over the next 10 years, the airport will continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK.” Even if a new runway in the south east is approved (a big IF) it would take at least 10 years to build and in that time other UK airports, such as Birmingham and Manchester will have the chance to add new flights to new destinations – some assisting business travel. The number of air passengers at Manchester rose last year by 6% and may rise by 5% in 2015-16 period. Manchester airport expansion fits in with George Osborne’s hopes of improving road and rail links between northern English cities to create a conurbation with the scale and resources to compete with London. A new south east runway would, by contrast, just worsen the north-south divide.