5 NOVEMBER 2018
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The first UK direct flight from China’s economic powerhouse Shenzhen touched down at Heathrow last week. The Shenzhen Airlines thrice-weekly service will carry up to 96,408 passengers and 3,120 tonnes of exports and imports annually.
The new route is the latest new Chinese route announced this year by Heathrow, which has more than doubled its direct connections from five – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Qingdao – to 11, adding Chongqing, Wuhan, Sanya, Changsa, Xi’an and now Shenzhen.
Just over the border and a short high-speed rail ride from Hong Kong, Shenzhen has a population of more than 12m and one of the highest GDP per capita of any city in China.
As home to tech giants like Huawei and Tencent, it is known as China’s Silicon Valley, with creative industries moving to the city not only for work but also because of its thriving cultural scene.
While welcoming the new route, Heathrow chief commercial officer Ross Baker noted future similar developments would depend on the airport being able to offer more capacity for cargo and passengers.
“While travellers and exporters will be pleased with our new Shenzhen connection and this year’s other routes, in order to achieve true transformational change for our economy we need the additional capacity to reach greater benefits,” he added.
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Keith Wallis, Faversham
Interesting to see who this hits more - Guangzhou and China Southern or Hong Kong with CX, BA, VS and a host of others.