Manchester Airport is to welcome the launch of direct flights to Beijing from Hainan Airlines.

The carrier will begin operating the new route from June 10th, 2016, and Manchester Airport will become the only UK airport outside of London to offer direct scheduled services to mainland China.

The flights will provide a connection between Manchester and Beijing for the first time, giving the 100,000 passengers travelling each year between the two cities the convenience of direct scheduled services.

By providing a non-stop service, the new route will also generate journey time savings worth £5million every year for business passengers and avoid the inconvenience of changing planes at another airport.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “The North is playing a leading part in heralding a golden era of economic co-operation between the UK and China and we are delighted that His Excellency Xi Jinping and the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron were recently able to join us in unveiling Airport City’s £130million ‘China Cluster’ investment and Hainan's new direct scheduled services to Beijing.

“Manchester Airport is the global gateway for the Northern Powerhouse and both the China Cluster and the new direct route will provide an opportunity for Chinese investors to access the many opportunities available to them in the North. Businesses in the North will also be significant beneficiaries as it will soon become much easier for them to build strong commercial relationships with Chinese partners.”

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