The UK and China have agreed to more than double the number of permitted flights between China and the UK.

Under the new deal passenger flights can now increase from the current maximum of 40 per week for each nation to up to 100, helping to boost tourism and trade opportunities for the UK.

Flights had previously been limited to serving just six airports in each country.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the deal is a “big moment” for the UK.

The agreement was welcomed by Gatwick airport – it points out that this year it welcomed Tianjin Airlines which has the UK’s first and only direct flights to Chongqing and Tianjin, and the return of Cathay Pacific with flights to Hong Kong.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “China is one of the UK’s most important growth markets and this deal will offer unrivalled opportunities to increase UK trade and tourism.

“With Gatwick already operating new and exclusive links to important Chinese growth markets, alongside more than 50 long-haul services, Gatwick is well positioned to further boost links between China and the UK thanks to this deal and demonstrate Britain remains well and truly open for business.”

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