From next week, the UK’s only non-stop between the UK and Chengdu will launch, marking Gatwick airport’s 67th long haul route.
Three flights a week will connect the UK with China’s fourth biggest city which – located in the geographic centre of the country – is developing the country’s largest western transport and logistics hub. This development is boosted by the China’s “Belt and Road” initiative to stimulate trade and economic growth across Asia and beyond into Europe for generations.
Chengdu is a strategically important destination and a major logistical hub, Gatwick Airport is predicting this new route will open a range of opportunities to access markets throughout central and western China, be it by air, road or rail.
One of Chengdu’s biggest attractions is the world-famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat. Sichuan Province is home to around 80% of China’s population of wild pandas.
“Air China’s Gatwick-Chengdu route is the 30th route opened by Air China between China and Europe”, said Chen Hongbing, General Manager UK and Ireland for Air China. He went on to say that the company hopes toestablish an air bridge through this route to provide passengers with more convenience and choice. “We hope to promote the friendly exchanges between the people from our two countries and promote the political, economic and cultural exchanges between the two cities and the two countries”.