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UK-China air traffic increases at Gatwick

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-08-11 17:24

Britain's second-busiest airport Gatwick has reported an increase in passengers travelling direct to and from China.

Gatwick Airport noted a 6.1 percent year-on-year rise in travellers on Chinese routes in July, the first anniversary of the airport's connections to China's Tianjin and Chongqing.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport CEO, said: "Gatwick's passenger numbers for July clearly illustrate the important and growing role Gatwick is playing in bringing Britain and Asia closer together. As the demand for travel to and from East Asia continues to rise, Gatwick has responded by adding exciting new destinations such as Taipei and Singapore to our rapidly expanding network of over 60 long-haul routes."

In December this year, China Airlines will be adding to Gatwick's Asia routes with a new service to Taiwan, with flights four times a week.

The international airport south of London has benefited from its long-haul routes, with the number of passengers travelling to long distance destinations rising by 10.7 percent compared to July last year.

"The 1.15 billion pound ($1.49 billion) set to be invested at Gatwick over the next five years will revolutionize our facilities and transform the airport experience for our passengers, ultimately paving the way for increased connections, including to China – one of our key ambitions for the near future," Wingate said.

Last month was also the busiest in the airport's history, with overall traveller numbers rising for a 53rd consecutive month as 4.7 million passengers made their journeys through the airport – an increase of 2.4 percent.

Wingate added: "Gatwick is already the world's busiest single-runway airport and we are exploring new and innovative ways to make best use of our existing facilities so we can continue to forge new connections and increase Britain's global connectivity when it's needed most."

Last year, the United Kingdom and China signed a deal to increase the number of flights between the two countries.

VisitBritain, the UK's official tourism body, said a record 54,000 tourists from China visited Britain in the first three months of 2017, a rise of 27 percent on the same period last year. Chinese tourists spending in Britain also increased to a record 91 million pounds.

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