Bid for direct flights from London Stansted Airport to China to strengthen ties. Photo credit – Stansted Airport
East of England – China Forum targeting direct flights
A group of local politicians, business owners and airport representatives have formed a group in the East of England aimed at strengthening business and tourism ties between China and the UK.
The East of England-China Forum will be membership based and the main aim will be to attract airlines to use London Stansted Airport as a base for direct flights between London and China.
In 2016 the value of imports an exports between China and the East of England reached $5.79bn, a figure which is hoped with greatly increase. This would also have a positive effect on the tourism industry in the South of England.
The group are optimistic as the concept has already been a huge success in Manchester. Direct flights to Hong Kong began in 2014 and have helped in increase direct exports from the North of England to £200 million per month, an increase of 260%.
London Stansted’s CEO Ken O’Toole is also onboard saying recently:
“As China becomes an increasingly important force in twenty-first century global trade, it is of paramount importance that the east of England, plus north and east London, has in place a clear strategy that allows it to nurture long-term economic ties with the country.
“In the next few years, China is expected to overtake the USA to become the biggest aviation market in the world and together with a relaxation of visa and flight restrictions for Chinese visitors, now is the time for the region to come together to secure new direct links between our region and China.”