October 5, 2022
Hainan Airlines Reconnects Manchester with China
Airlines Routes

Hainan Airlines Reconnects Manchester with China

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DALLAS – For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, a direct air link between Manchester and China is set to be restored today.

Hainan Airlines (HU) began operating the northern hub in 2016, with Manchester Airport (MAN) serving as the only gateway outside of London with direct service to mainland China.

The Chinese carrier will now start operating flights from Beijing following an agreement between the UK and Chinese governments last week that Manchester-China was one of the air corridors that may restart operations after a two-and-a-half-year suspension.

The outbound flight will initially stop in Dalian, where passengers must undergo quarantine for seven days according to Chinese regulations, while the inbound connection will be made directly from Beijing. Beginning in October, the service will run on Tuesdays.

There are more than 40 universities in the catchment area of the airport that annually welcome thousands of Chinese students. To operate the two-class service once again for the busy student travel season, HU moved swiftly, allocating its Airbus A330 to the route.

Before the pandemic, around 100,000 passengers per year from the airport’s catchment area traveled between Manchester and Beijing. In 2019, China was the UK’s second most valuable inbound market, worth £1.7bn.

Manchester Airport T3. Photo: MAN

Comments from Airport, Airline Officials

Manchester Airport managing director Chris Woodroofe said, “Today’s announcement is clear evidence of the vital economic role that Manchester airport plays, both in the north and the UK as a whole, as we emerge from the pandemic.

The director pointed out that prior to 2020, “the Hainan service provided vital connectivity to one of the world’s most important economies and I am sure this news will be welcomed by the hundreds of thousands of people across the north who travel to and from China each year.”

Woodroofe added, “It is extremely positive to see critical routes like this return to our departure boards and we look forward to working closely with Hainan Airlines to build on the previous success of this route.”

Hainan Airlines chief executive Tao Zhu said, “At the beginning of the resumption of [the] flight, it will travel via Dalian first. After completing the seven days quarantine, passengers will be able to fly to other destinations within China according to their preferences.”

According to an economic impact study cited by breakingtravelnews.com, the route resulted in a 38% rise in Chinese visitors to the north, with an increase in the average expenditure per visit of 94% and an increase in export values of 41%.

Featured image: Hainan Airlines B-6116 Airbus A330-243. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways

Chief Online Editor
Chief Online Editor at Airways Magazine, AVSEC interpreter and visual artist; grammar geek, an avid fan of aviation, motorcycles, sci-fi literature, and film.

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