The North will soon be better connected to China than ever before, as it was announced a second Far East flight service will go daily.
Hainan Airlines, which kicked-off its route to Beijing last June, has already upped the number of weekly flights from four to five, due to its popularity. Now the carrier has revealed it will make the service daily during the summer, means a 31% increase to capacity between Manchester and the Chinese capital.
That comes on the back of news that Cathay Pacific will make its Hong Kong route daily from December, with an increase to five flights a week from June.
Both services have already had a significant impact on driving trade, investment and tourism in the North since starting. Together, they are worth around £100m a year to the tourism sector alone, while levels of investment from the Far East in the North have grown since their launch.
The increased frequencies will drive these trends further, with the news being welcomed by businesses and other organisations across the North.
Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “Securing direct services to China was a long-standing ambition of Manchester Airport and the region as a whole.
“The fact the Beijing and Hong Kong routes have been so successful is testament to both the strength of the North’s economy and its rich cultural, sporting and leisure scene, which has been hugely popular with Chinese visitors.
“The fact both carriers have chosen to operate daily services will deliver further trade, tourism and investment benefits to all parts of the North and this growth demonstrates the power of direct connectivity to the world’s most important markets.”
Hainan Airlines who currently fly four times a week to Beijing will start its daily service in July until the end of September. The Skytrax five star carrier will also be changing its aircraft to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the most modern aircraft in the sky.
Cathay Pacific will increase to five services from 2nd June, with the daily service starting on 1st December. The airline too is improving its aircraft with the introduction of the ultra-efficient Airbus A350.
Helen and Lisa Tse at Sweet Mandarin said:
“The direct flight from Manchester to Hong Kong has been invaluable to Sweet Mandarin.
“We have noticed an upturn of Hong Kong visitors to Manchester who have made a beeline to our restaurant to try the Mabel’s Claypot Chicken which was requested by the Premier of China during his state visit.
“Also, we supply our sauces to Hong Kong, so going to visit our buyers via this direct flight has saved us time, money, energy and been invaluable to securing our China contracts and helping us forge stronger relationships with the supermarkets out there.”