LONDON – Over the weekend, London Heathrow welcomed the first direct route to Chongqing, which is the airport’s 10th route to China.

The Tianjin Airlines A330-200 arrived into Heathrow on August 25.

The route will operate on a three times per week basis on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This route will sit up to 81,000 passengers per year, with Tianjin Airlines confident about the route because of the city becoming an economic hub and a burgeoning tourist destination.

Chongqing is part of China’s West Triangle Economic Zone, which joins up alongside Chengdu and Xi’an. It currently accounts for nearly 40% of Western China’s GDP, highlighting the significance of the routes. 

Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker commented on the milestone that the airport has achieved as a result of Chongqing being route number 10:

“We are tremendously pleased to welcome our 10th direct connection to China – [a] direct link to some of the most stunning scenery and culinary experiences China has to offer.”

“Heathrow is proud of its role as the UK’s Hub airport and biggest gateway for Chinese passengers and cargo going between our two countries”, he added. 

On top of Chongqing, Heathrow has added Wuhan, Sanya, Changsa and Xi’an in recent years. 

This route is expected to add around 3,744 tonnes in annual exports. According to the airport, routes to China from the UK’s hub added £510 million to the UK economy alone, highlighting the significance in trade.