Manchester-Beijing direct service agreed

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed the authorisation of a new direct flight from Manchester Airport to Beijing by China Hainan Airlines.

Speaking to the first UK-China Bilateral Investment Conference on Friday, George Osborne MP talked about a range of initiatives to boost business relations between the UK and China, including appointing a special envoy to China on cities, Sir Michael Bear.

The event was part of an official visit to the UK by Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai.

Osborne said: "Today we are also creating new bonds in the understanding between our people – with a package of measures to promote tourism and enhance cultural co-operation.

"We are increasing opportunities for airlines to operate more services, and to introduce new routes, between the UK and China.

"Today I am delighted to welcome the announcement that China Hainan Airlines has received authorisation for a direct new flight between Beijing and Manchester."

Cathay Pacific Airways announced the launch of a four-times weekly service between Manchester and Hong Kong in April, which will begin in December.

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