Gatwick Airport has announced a new long-haul connection from London Gatwick to Shanghai, providing additional cargo capacity and more than 70,000 new seats per year.
In July, Gatwick Airport recorded year-on-year long-haul growth of 20.8%, showing a rising demand for long-haul flights. Additionally, the airport saw the volume of cargo grow by 28.8%. With these rising figures, the major international airport in southeast England announced a new route to Shanghai, a vital connection to China’s largest city.
The new route will be operated by China Eastern Airlines – the country’s second-biggest airline – and will connect the UK to one of the world’s largest business centres, providing more than 70,000 seats and 3,700 metric tonnes of new cargo capacity each year.
Stewart Wingate, CEO at Gatwick Airport, said: “I’m delighted to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick and look forward to the start of this vital new link to Shanghai which, like London, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important cities and business hubs. Starting from such a strong position gives this new route every chance of success, as it will be popular with business passengers travelling between the two economic centres, as well as leisure passengers keen to sample the excitement of China’s largest city.”
Shanghai has been a major contributor to the country’s rapid economic growth. It’s the leading city driving the Yangtze River Economic Zone, a region responsible for 20% of China’s GDP and a third of its imports and exports.
In other parts of the world such as Asia, Gatwick Airport’s routes grew by 134.8% compared with July last year. While the airport’s US connections continue to prove popular, with data showing an increase of 67.5% in New York, 58.7% in Boston, and 32.5% in Las Vegas.
The new service will begin on 7 December 2018. The Airbus A330-200 will depart from Gatwick on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 12:00 and will fly to Shanghai Pudong Airport.
“These connections to China… will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain”
Wingate added: “July’s traffic figures demonstrate that Gatwick’s long-haul network is driving the airport’s growth. These connections to China and other non-European countries will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain as we become more reliant on them to generate vital growth through trade and by exploiting the other business opportunities that they provide.”