Date
26 September 2017
Passengers await their departure flights from London’s Heathrow airport. The UK and China have agreed to increase passenger and cargo services to boost  tourism and trade.  Photo:  Bloomberg News
Passengers await their departure flights from London’s Heathrow airport. The UK and China have agreed to increase passenger and cargo services to boost tourism and trade. Photo: Bloomberg News

UK, China ramp up passenger, cargo flights

Britain and China will increase the number of passenger flights between them to 100 a week for each from 40 and remove any limit on cargo flights.

The two countries also agreed to lift restrictions to allow passenger services to be operated from any point, the British Department of Transport said in a statement cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Before the agreement, there was a limit of cargo flights of 10 each way a week and airlines could only serve six destinations in each country.

The British government has been eager to show that the UK is open for business after Britons voted in a national referendum in June to exit the European Union, a move many warned before the vote could hurt the UK’s economy and global standing.

“Raising the number of permitted flights between the two countries will provide massive opportunities for our businesses, helping increase trade, create jobs and boost our economy up and down the country,” Chris Grayling, the UK’s transport minister, said in the statement.

Almost 270,000 people visited the UK from China in 2015, a 46 percent increase on the previous year, leading to an 18 percent increase in spending to £586 million (US$712 million) and moving China into the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound markets, the government said.

China now operates 38 passenger flights a week to the UK, while the UK flies 29 to China.

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