The route has enabled a huge growth in both tourism and trade. Photo credit - MAG
A new report shows that direct flights to Beijing have provided a massive economic boost to the North of England.
The study, undertaken by experts at Steer Davies Gleave, found that the Hainan Airline service has been 'acting as a catalyst for growth and resilience in a global connectivity context' since launching in 2016.
The route has enabled a huge growth in both tourism and trade. When it comes to tourism, the report suggests that, in the year following the launch of flights, spending by Chinese tourists in the North of the UK doubled.
In terms of trade, the value of goods exported from the region to China more than doubled, and is now estimated to be worth over £200 million per month.
Of course, not all of this growth can be attributed to the air route, but it serves to highlight the impact that the Hainan Airlines service is having, and the potential future demand for further air links between Manchester and China.
Responding to the findings, the Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, Charlie Cornish, said:
''One of the more important findings in this report is the significant amount of demand this route has stimulated for travel both to and from the UK.''