LONDON – After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, Hainan Airlines will resume operations out of Manchester effective from tomorrow (August 22nd).
Hainan launched flights back in 2016, with the newly restarted flights offering somewhat of a destination switch.
The inbound flight will come directly from Beijing, but the outbound flight will operate to Dalian due to the current restrictions surrounding COVID-19 quarantining in the region.
The UK and Chinese governments last week agreed Manchester-China was one of the air corridors that could resume after a two-and-a-half year hiatus, and Hainan has moved quickly to start operating the popular service again, in time for the busy student season.
Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said:
“Today’s announcement is clear evidence of the vital economic role that Manchester Airport plays, both in the North and the UK as a whole, as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Prior to 2020, the Hainan service provided vital connectivity to one of the world’s most important economies, and I am sure this news will be welcomed by the hundreds of thousands of people across the North who travel to and from China each year.
“It is extremely positive to see critical routes like this return to our departure boards, and we look forward to working closely with Hainan Airlines to build on the previous success of this route.”
Tao Zhu, the CEO of Hainan Airlines, said:
“It is great to bring Hainan Airlines back to Manchester. Hainan Airlines is a 5-star Skytrax-rated airline, and we will operate an A330 aircraft on the route offering both economy and business classes. The flight arrives in Manchester at 10:00 each Monday and departs at 15:00.”
“At the beginning of the resumption of flight, it will travel via Dalian first. After completing the seven days quarantine, passengers will be able to fly to other destinations within China according to their preferences.”
A Popular Route…
Hainan Airlines’ route to Manchester is quite popular amongst the student population who wish to head over to the United Kingdom to initiate their university studies.
Pre-pandemic, there were around 100,000 people a year who traveled between Manchester and Beijing within the catchment area of the North-Western airport.
As Patricia Yates, the CEO of VisitEngland/VisitBritain, says, there is a lot of economic value in terms of China-UK flights:
“We want to deliver a world-class welcome for returning Chinese visitors, and the resumption of services making it easier for them to get here is a crucial part of our competitive tourism offer and recovery post-covid.”
“In 2019, China was the UK’s second most valuable inbound market, worth £1.7 Billion, and Hainan’s direct route to Manchester will not only act as a gateway to the greater North West but also make it easier for visitors to come and explore regional Britain spreading the economic benefits of tourism growth across the UK.”
Either way, this route restarting is going to be largely welcomed, especially when it comes to the economic benefits that this route will provide to Manchester and the surrounding areas.