Hopes soar for first direct flights between Scotland and China

The first direct flights between Scotland and China have moved a step closer with a new deal between London and Beijing, the UK government claimed today.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 4:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 4:23 pm

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling urged Scotland to take advantage of the further expansion in the number of permitted flights between the UK and China.

An extra 50 flights a week to and from non-London airports will be allowed after the total from the UK was increased from 40 to 100 last year, he told Scotland on Sunday.

A spokeswoman said: “Scotland’s airports could be set for the country’s first-ever scheduled services to China following a landmark deal on aviation access.”

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She said that 41,000 visits were made from China to Scotland last year, which generated spending of £36 million. Scottish exports to China reached £2.5 billion in the year to September.

Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have long sought a Chinese route. The first non-London flights were launched from Manchester last year.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The agreement with China is certainly helpful”, while Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport said: “This is fantastic news and in my opinion brings the prospect of a direct Edinburgh China service even closer.”

A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said: “News of the deal to increase the number of permitted flights between the UK and China is extremely welcome.”