Flights to Beijing from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) will resume this week, with four flights per week to Beijing Capital International Airport from 1 April.
Eventually, flights to Beijing from LGW will increase to daily services from 24 April. Flights have not run between these airports since early 2020.
Stephanie Wear, VP Aviation Development, Gatwick Airport said: “We are delighted to welcome Air China back to London Gatwick, providing a vital connection between two of the world’s most influential capital cities.
“China is the world’s second-largest economy, so by offering direct flights between London and Beijing, Gatwick is providing an important service to people and businesses across the Southeast
“It is also great news for tourism and hospitality across the region. Chinese visitors are traditionally high spenders so the return of regular flights will help support these sectors, which suffered so badly throughout the pandemic.”
The tourism industry will experience an economic boost with Chinese visitors spending £1,828 per visit and £1.8bn in 2019, according to Visit Britain.
In terms of the business sector, 30 Global 500 companies are located in Beijing meaning it is first place and London has 28 Global 500 companies which makes it second place.
In 2021/22, China sent 151,690 students to the UK, according to data from Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This is an increase of 41% since 2017-18.
Jingjie Li, general manager, Air China London said: “We are delighted to resume our direct service from London Gatwick to Beijing.
“We are well prepared to serve passengers travelling between the UK and China, and via our hub at Beijing Capital Airport to beyond.”