Juneyao Air and Manchester International Airport have recently announced that they will operate three flights a week between Manchester and Shanghai. Set to launch in March 2020, the new route will provide a massive economic boost for both Manchester and the rest of the North of England.
Home to 24 million people and the world’s busiest container port, Shanghai is China’s largest city. Furthermore, Shanghai is considered one of the most vital commercial and financial hubs in Asia, establishing great investment ties to both Shanghai and the North of England.
Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said of the route: “Forging closer links between China and the Northern Powerhouse is crucial to increasing the contribution the North makes to the UK economy and reinforces the role of Manchester Airport as the global, long-haul getaway to the North – a Heathrow for the North bringing investment, growth and skilled jobs to the region.”
Estimates show that 180,000 people within Manchester’s catchment area already travel to Shanghai, with the new route set to boost these numbers even further. The new route is a step towards making the North one of the most internationally competitive regions, unlocking hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment, tourism and trade.
The announcement comes three years after Hainan Airlines’ route launch in 2016. The direct route between Beijing and Manchester has been widely praised, with Northern England reporting a 38% increase in Chinese visitors in relation to the route opening.
The new route will provide a great global boost for Manchester’s universities too. Manchester’s student population is already the largest in Europe, with a high percentage of these students coming from all over the world. Outside of London, Manchester has the highest graduate retention rate in the UK. According to research from the Manchester Brain Drain, 51% of students from Manchester’s universities remain in the city after graduation. With a growing number of international students choosing to study in Manchester, the city’s economy has seen a big boost in the last decade. Manchester is celebrated for its globally diverse workforce and this new route will aid further growth as well as solidify Manchester as a prime international destination to do business.
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