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19 July, 2018 - 11:24 By Tony Quested

Stansted steps up talks with Chinese airlines over direct services

Stansted Airport officials have held recent talks with carriers in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong in a bid to advance a direct service from the Essex hub to China, heavily underpinned by business traffic.

Airport owner MAG was previously successful in attracting two carriers to launch direct routes from Manchester – Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and Hainan to Beijing.

It hopes to replicate that success for Stansted after bringing Dubai on line through Emirates and Boston, New York and Toronto through Nordic operator Primera Air.

Stansted is bidding to leverage burgeoning business between the East of England and China, with companies along the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor reporting record trade with the Eastern economic powerhouse.

Stansted officials were in China and Hong Kong the week before last holding the latest series of a long line of talks and is hopeful that it can deliver a direct service inside two years. 

Chris Wiggan, head of external affairs for Stansted Airport, told Business Weekly: “These things obviously take time to come to fruition. Emirates has just launched Dubai from here and the very first talks probably started five years ago. 

“We have to make our case and we need to get as many businesses as we can involved in the initiative. Companies along the corridor that are actively trading with China could significantly boost the case we are bidding to make if they engage with us in the process.

“We are confident that the East of England China Forum we recently helped to set up will prove influential in our efforts to bring direct China services online.”

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