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The value of air routes to China make the news today with Sydney Airport revealing that its new Zhengzhou service will pump A$60 million into the local economy and Heathow claiming that its direct flights to China add £510 million yearly to the UK’s GDP.

According to Sydney Airport, Tianjin Airlines’ new service from Zhengzhou will bring an extra 14,000 Chinese visitors annually to Australia and ensure “tens of millions of extra dollars” for businesses in New South Wales (NSW). 

Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, today officially welcomed the airline’s new direct service from Zhengzhou, which until this morning was Sydney’s second-largest unserved market in China.
Tianjin aiurloines
“This is a brilliant result for our state’s tourism industry and for the broader economy,” he said.

“We’re expecting an estimated 14,000 new Chinese visitors each year to take advantage of Tianjin Airlines’ convenient new route into Sydney, where they’ll experience for themselves one of the greatest cities in the world.

“Every single one of these visitors will help support jobs in NSW. This new service means an additional estimated $60 million will be driven into the state’s economy each year.”

China is Sydney’s largest and fastest-growing inbound visitor market, and the Australian gateway has implemented a range of measures to enhance the experience of Chinese passengers, including by becoming the first organisation outside greater China to use Baidu Maps, a popular mobile navigation service.

LHR A380
Meanwhile at Heathrow, the airport claims that new research, carried out by Frontier Economics, reveals that its direct flights to China already contribute more than £510m annually to the UK economy and are responsible for nearly 15,000 jobs. 

And it says that just one extra flight per week, on to these existing routes, will create an additional 530 jobs and provide a further cash injection of £16 million a year as a result of increased business travel, and stimulation for increased trade and investment between China and the UK.  

The airport currently offers more than 100 direct flights to China every week, 55 of which go to Hong Kong, 22 to Shanghai, 20 to Beijing, 10 to Guangzhou and two to Qingdao. 

Of the £510m annual contribution by existing routes, £315m is made up by Hong Kong, followed by Beijing and Shanghai. 

Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Heathrow is proud of its role as a gateway to these vital Chinese markets; enabling global trade as the UK’s largest port by value, acting as a catalyst for thousands of jobs for the local community and contributing billions to the UK economy. 

“Expansion of Heathrow is a chance to deepen relations between China and the UK; as the report highlights, just one extra route could contribute hundreds of jobs and millions to the UK’s GDP.  As the country prepares to leave the EU and China’s economy continues to grow exponentially, this is an opportunity the UK cannot afford to miss.”


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