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Birmingham Airport welcomes the first in a series of direct flights from Beijing

This month, staff at Birmingham Airport have welcomed in the first passengers in a series of direct flights from Beijing. The service, which if turned into a daily connection, could see £81 million invested in the UK economy, including £62 million per year for the West Midlands.

The Boeing 767-300 aircraft, arrived at Birmingham Airport carrying 233 passengers who were travelling to the UK on a package tour through the operator Caissa Touristic, one of the largest tour operators in China.

The flights come after a successful trial of a direct route to Beijing from Birmingham Airport last year. The new routes have the potential to bring in great economic benefits for the West Midlands and the UK as a whole, and it is estimated that it could bring in around 1350 new jobs.

Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP has welcomed the new route:

“Airports play a vital role in our long-term economic plan so this route between Birmingham and China is a great step forward. The new service will showcase the West Midlands to thousands of visitors and potential investors. Birmingham Airport’s work towards a daily service shows their commitment to creating opportunities and new jobs in the region.”

The new route has also been welcomed by members of the UK business community, including Mandy Robinson, the national sales manager at Virgin Trains, who commented:

“This is great news for the city and wider region. Improved connectivity is vital to help boost both the local economy and that of the nation as a whole. Virgin Trains is proud to play our own small part and congratulate Paul and his team at the Airport for adding China to the map. We look forward to welcoming some new visitors onto our trains in the coming months.”