China Southern has launched a twice weekly B787-800 service between China’s Zhengzhou (CGO) and London Heathrow (LHR) offering 2,080 tonnes of annual belly capacity. The new route – Europe’s first direct Zhengzhou passenger flight – means that Heathrow now offers 13 direct connections to Chinese destinations.
The number of destinations available via the UK’s only hub airport has allowed exports to China to grow by 135 per cent in value from 2018 compared to 2017, totalling over GBP 7.0 billion (USD 8.9 billion), the airport says.
Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan Province in the central region of China and is the political, economic, technological and educational centre of Henan. With a population of 10.12 million, it’s also a major Chinese manufacturing hub and a key business destination. Nearly 70 per cent of all Apple iPhones sold worldwide are manufactured there.
Among the top annual exports flying via Heathrow airport to China in 2018, the top export was pharmaceuticals, valued at USD 461.05 million. Other top exports by value include:
ª Aerospace materials – USD 334.24 million
• Art – USD 151.9 million
• Computers – USD 67.69 million
ª Clothing and fashion accessories – USD 29.8 million
• Footwear – USD 12.6 million
It is also one of the most important textile centres in the country, “meaning that British businesses and passengers are now able to directly access the heart of industrial – as well as ancient – China,” the airport adds.
“The launch of our new route to Zhengzhou is an exciting opportunity for passengers and will provide Europe’s only direct connection to this unique Chinese destination,” says Ross Baker, Heathrow’s chief commercial officer. “At Heathrow, we are committed to opening-up more routes to China as part of our strategy to drive forward the UK’s global connectivity for years to come.”