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Manchester Airport secures landmark link to Shanghai

20th November 2019

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Huge boost for the North as Manchester Airport secures landmark link to Shanghai. The route will benefit 183,000 people across the North who access Shanghai via other means.

Manchester Airport today announced a landmark deal to connect the North with Shanghai, China’s biggest city and one of the world’s most important economic powerhouses.

Chinese carrier Juneyao Air has chosen the Northern hub for its first ever UK service, which will operate three-times-a-week. Flights will start at the end of March 2020, 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. And business, university and cultural leaders say the link will stimulate further valuable connections between the Far East and all parts of the North.

Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan comments: “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.

We are delighted that Juneyao Air has recognised everything the North has to offer, in terms of its business base, natural and cultural assets and world-leading universities when choosing to launch this new service. I would like to thank all those who have worked hard to strengthen our region’s ties with China, especially the Manchester China Forum, in recent years.”

Originally a fishing village and market town, Shanghai has grown to be one of the world’s key economic powerhouses, with a population of nearly 25m. It is home to the worlds’ busiest container port and seen as a leading hub for finance, innovation and transportation, providing wide-ranging collaboration opportunities for the North.

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 Chariman, 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.”

Juneyao Air is one of the leading private-owned carriers in mainland China. Founded in September 2006, the carrier now owns 72 aircraft, consisting of Airbus A320s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline operates more than 160 routes linking major cities in China as well as international destinations. In 2018 Juneyao Air carried over 18 million passengers.

Juneyao Air’s flagship - the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner features two cabins offering comfortable ergonomic seating, enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screens and wireless internet access. All seats in Business Class have direct access to the aisle and can be fully reclined into a bed position, giving passengers a superior sleep experience, which greatly enhance the level of the travel comfort. The seats in the Economy Class are designed to provide comfortable personal space and state-of-the-art individual on-demand entertainment.

This new long-haul route is just one of several the Northern hub has confirmed in recent years and is a shot in the arm for the entire region. Following the launch of the airport’s Beijing service three years ago, the region has seen masses of benefits such as a 38% increase in the number of Chinese visitors, average spend per visit increasing by 94% (5% ahead of the national average) and export values growing by 41%.

Rhys Whalley, Executive Director, Manchester China Forum said: “Juneyao’s new route to Shanghai is another significant development in Manchester’s relationship with China and is another important step forward in making the North one of the world’s most globally competitive regions to do business in. We know the positive impact that connectivity can have on the prosperity of Greater Manchester, and so a route to Shanghai, a key global financial and trading hub, will no doubt deliver a significant long-term boost to our ambitions in further enhancing links to the world's major growth economy.”

The route has also been welcomed by key dignitaries in both the UK and China.

Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “Forging closer links between China and the Northern Powerhouse is crucial to increasing the contribution the North makes to the UK economy and reinforces the role of Manchester Airport as the global, long-haul gateway to the North – a Heathrow for the North bringing investment, growth and skilled jobs to the region.

This new route to Shanghai and others including to the US and Bangladesh, is not simply about connecting the people of the North West to the world. It is a chance for all of the Northern Powerhouse’s 15 million people to create new opportunities for them and their families.”

Zheng Xiyuan, Consul General for China in Manchester said: “It is extremely positive news to hear about Juneyao Air’s new route to Shanghai from Manchester. Manchester and China have a long history of partnership and collaboration, and I am pleased that Shanghai will now become a major part of its future.”

Chris Wood, Consul General of the UK in Shanghai said: “I am delighted to welcome a new route from Shanghai to Manchester. By connecting these two dynamic cities, we are strengthening existing relationships and further developing Shanghai’s ties to the North of England.”

For more information see: www.manchesterairport.co.uk or https://global.juneyaoair.com/

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