Last reviewed 26 November 2019

The Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, has said that forging closer links between China and the North of England is crucial to increasing the contribution the region makes to the UK economy.

He was welcoming news that Manchester Airport had completed arrangements for regular flights to Shanghai, China’s biggest city and regularly rated as one of the top five Global Financial Centres.

Chinese carrier Juneyao Air has chosen the Northern hub for its first ever UK service, which will operate initially via Helsinki, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Flights will arrive into Manchester at 08.30 and depart for Shanghai at 10:00.

Juneyao will operate a Dreamliner, with business and economy cabins, on the route.

The Airport’s CEO Andrew Cowan said: “This news underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting people and businesses across the North to the world’s most important markets. We have seen first-hand how new routes to high-growth economies can unlock significant trade, cultural and knowledge exchange opportunities and this will be no different.”

He said that the news has been hailed as a key step towards making the North one of the world’s most globally competitive regions and is tipped to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds-worth of trade, investment and tourism benefits.

Mr Cowan highlighted that 180,000 people and businesses within Manchester Airport’s catchment area already travel to Shanghai each year.

Reacting to the announcement, Dr Tony Bannan, Chief Executive Officer, PTG Holroyd, said: “As an organisation that exports around 98% of its products, being in close proximity to Manchester Airport is essential for PTG Holroyd. The extensive routes operated by the airport — particularly to the USA, China and Europe — have proved a key factor in the development and growth of our business overseas.”