Shenzhen Airlines has started a new direct flight to Shenzhen, marking Heathrow’s 11th route to China.
The airport's Chinese network has more than doubled since the start of the year, and post Brexit will allow for more trade between China and the UK.
Operated by Shenzhen Airlines, this thrice weekly service will transport up to 96,408 passengers a year and 3,120 tonnes of annual exports and imports to Shenzhen, which is known as China’s tech hub.
Shenzhen Airlines is part owned by Air China and is the 4th largest Chinese carrier by passenger numbers. Its direct flight to Heathrow will become Shenzhen Airlines’ first long-haul route, and connect passengers from London through Shenzhen City to its regional network of 210 domestic routes. Shenzhen Airlines is now the 25th Star Alliance carrier that will operate under one roof at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
Heathrow’s chief commercial officer Ross Baker said: “This year, we have focussed on strengthening Heathrow’s role as the UK’s gateway for Chinese trade, commerce and tourism. While our passengers and exporters will undoubtedly be pleased with our new Shenzhen connection, along with the other routes we have announced this year, we know that in order to achieve true transformational change for our culture and economy we need the additional capacity for cargo and passengers to reach greater benefits.
"It is the creation of this extra capacity, achieved through Heathrow expansion that will allow Britain to trade on a truly global platform whilst providing Britain with a front door that is the best connected in the world.”