London Gatwick Airport launched a new belly route to Shanghai Pudong International Airport on Friday (7 December) when China Eastern started a three-weekly Airbus A330-200 link.
The connection will provide over 3,700 metric tonnes of cargo capacity – in both directions – every year and it will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
The Shanghai area is responsible for a third of China’s imports and exports and dominates the Yangtze River Economic Zone – a region accounting for 20 per cent of China’s GDP.
Gatwick’s long-haul network comprises over 60 different routes.
Gatwick Airport chief commercial officer, Guy Stephenson said: “The addition of one of the world’s biggest financial centres to Gatwick’s route network is very good news for the UK, particularly as connections to China and other non-European countries are set to take on extra significance in the New Year and beyond.
“With China being one of the UK’s main trading partners, this is a vital business route connecting two of the world’s most important cities – but Shanghai is equally an exciting and much sought-after tourist destination.
“We’re pleased to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick for the first time and are delighted that our passengers now have direct access to everything that China’s largest city has to offer.”