A new agreement will see a 50% increase in the number of flights allowed between the UK and China. UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, says the deal will enable a “huge expansion” in routes from regional airports.
In October 2016, limits on passenger flights between the two countries were raised from 40 per week to a maximum of 100. This figure is set to increase to 150 under the new deal.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK has “rocketed” during the first half of this year, according to the UK government. Between January and June, 115,000 visits were made from China to the UK, a rise of 47% on the same period last year. Spending also increased to £231 million, up 54%.
Restrictions were also relaxed to allow an unlimited number of cargo flights to operate between the UK and China. By the end of 2016, more than 74,000 tonnes of freight had been transported between the UK and China by air, an increase of 27% on 2015, according to Department for Transport figures.
Preparing for a post-Brexit Britain
Grayling said: “These agreements are an important part of preparing Britain for a post-Brexit world and making sure we have access to key markets in the Far East, and they come at a time when our exports are growing and we continue to attract international investment. It just underlines that Britain will do well regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.”