LONDON, UK — London Gatwick Airport eagerly anticipates the return of Air China this week, signifying the restoration of services to Beijing and catering to the evolving travel needs of our global audience.

The esteemed Chinese flag carrier has scheduled four weekly flights to Beijing Capital International Airport beginning tomorrow, with plans to enhance the frequency to daily services starting April 24.

Marking the first instance since early 2020, these flights reconnect Gatwick with China, addressing the rising demand for travel between the two nations and showcasing a strong, logical response to market needs.

These flights are expected to significantly stimulate the tourism industry in London and the Southeast. Evidence from Visit Britain reveals that Chinese visitors spent £1,828 per visit and a staggering £1.8 billion in 2019, emphasizing the potential economic impact of this development.

Furthermore, the new connection presents an optimistic outlook for the business sector across London and the Southeast. Beijing houses 30 Global 500 companies (compiled annually by Fortune magazine based on revenue), surpassing any other city worldwide. London follows closely in second place, boasting 28 Global 500 companies.

China set a record by sending 151,690 students to the United Kingdom in 2021/22, more than any other country, as per data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This figure, a 41% increase since 2017-18, constitutes the majority (22.3%) of international students in the UK.

Stephanie Wear, VP of Aviation Development at Gatwick Airport, confidently stated: “We are thrilled to welcome Air China back to London Gatwick, forging a crucial connection between two of the world's most influential capital cities.

“China stands as the world's second-largest economy. By offering direct flights between London and Beijing, Gatwick is fulfilling a vital service for individuals and businesses throughout the Southeast, demonstrating our strong stance in support of global commerce.

“Additionally, this development brings promising news for the regional tourism and hospitality sectors. Chinese visitors are known for their high spending habits, so the resumption of regular flights will bolster these industries, which have suffered tremendously during the pandemic.”

Echoing this sentiment, Jingjie Li, General Manager of Air China London, said: "We are overjoyed to reestablish our direct service from London Gatwick to Beijing. We are fully prepared to accommodate passengers traveling between the UK and China, as well as those connecting via our hub at Beijing Capital Airport and beyond."

The return of Air China enables Gatwick to present passengers with a diverse selection of nearly 50 long-haul destinations this summer. As an Air China hub, Beijing Capital International Airport also offers exceptional onward connections across China, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

This new service embodies VINCI Airports' unwavering commitment to serving communities and fostering business growth through the development of air connectivity. Moreover, it underscores Gatwick's competitive edge in securing vital new routes to high-priority markets.