28 JULY 2014
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It may be the way for the future? Birmingham Airport has welcomed the UK's first direct flight from China into a non-London airport inaugurating its recently extended runway as the service departed for its 5,000 mile journey back to Beijing.
The China Southern A330-200 aircraft, operated by one of China's leading tour operators, Caissa Travel Management Co Ltd, arrived into Birmingham Airport fully laden with 248 tourists venturing into the UK on organised package tours. The short summer programme is a sell-out.
"This is a historic day for Birmingham, and indeed the Midlands region. Never before has a commercial airliner touched down on a runway outside of the capital from China and we are enormously proud to be the first to make this happen," said Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive of the Airport.
"We have invested more than £200m in recent years to create an airport that can accommodate more traffic, particularly to and from long haul markets, and today we saw the first use of our runway extension for what it was intended: to provide direct global connectivity from the Midlands," Paul added.
The departure to Beijing carried UK tourists travelling on an organised two-week package tour, provided by Birmingham-based Chinese travel agent, United Travel. http://unitedtraveluk.yolasite.com
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