British Airways has described its Chengdu launch as a ‘whirlwind’ as the city looks to increase awareness among British holidaymakers and business travellers.
The airline boosted its flights from Heathrow to the Chinese city from three services a week to five earlier this month after initially launching the route in September 2013.
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner is used to operate the flights.
“It’s been a whirlwind since the launch in September to really get under the skin of China and put across all the reasons why people should visit the country,” said Paul Rogers, area marketing manager APMEA for BA. “BA applauds the Chengdu government for promoting the region here in the UK and its fantastic 72-hour visa-free transit policy.”
Chengdu embarked on a campaign to promote the visa-free stay earlier this week and unveiled its Heathrow Express branding today.
Panda images have been placed on train windows to promote the city in what is a first for the rail operator.
“This type of promotion hasn’t been done before so it’s something different. Chengdu wants to tell its story and we are happy to be involved,” said Simon Evans, head of communications at Heathrow Express. “Our ambition is to expand globally and we hope it will increase the number of Chinese passengers that use our service too.”
The ‘Chengdu 72 Express’ will run until Friday, with the city to also set up a pop-up tea room in Covent Garden this week.