Manchester Airport has announced a deal to connect the north of England with Shanghai.
Chinese carrier Juneyao Air has chosen the hub for its first ever UK service, which will operate three-times-a-week using the state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The news has been hailed as “a key step towards making the north one of the world’s most globally competitive regions” and is tipped to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds-worth of trade, investment and tourism benefits.
It will be a boost for the 180,000 people and businesses within Manchester Airport’s catchment area who already travel to Shanghai, ranked as one of the top five global financial centres, each year.
Manchester Airport chief executive, Andrew Cowan, said: “This news underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting people and businesses across the north to the world’s most important markets.
“We have seen first-hand how new routes to high-growth economies can unlock significant trade, cultural and knowledge exchange opportunities and this will be no different.”
Juneyao’s services with operate initially via Helsinki, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
It will arrive into Manchester at 08:30 and depart for Shanghai at 10:00.
Juneyao will operate a Dreamliner, with business and economy cabins, on the route.
Wang Junjin, Juneyao Air chairman, said: “Juneyao Air is delighted to launch its first fifth-freedom route to Manchester, and we look forward to developing Manchester’s traffic growth in the coming years.
“This route will further promote Greater Manchester’s tourism, as well giving Britain an opportunity to boost its trade and investment links to China.”