London Gatwick welcomed the return of Air China on 3 July, with the UK capital airport greeting its new service from Chengdu with this brilliant bamboo and panda-themed cake, with the Chinese city being world-renowned for its research facilities on the animal. This service also becomes the 67th long-haul route to hit Gatwick’s departure boards. Air China, which last served Gatwick from Beijing unitl 2014, will offer three weekly flights on the city pair.
- Air China made a return to London Gatwick (LGW) on 3 July when it introduced a direct connection from Chengdu (CTU), having last served the UK airport in 2014 with flights from Beijing. It will serve the 8,299-kilometre sector between Chengdu and London three times weekly, with it utilising its fleet of A330-300s on the airport pair. There is no incumbent competition on the route, with the city pairing of London and Chengdu having last been served by British Airways in January 2017. “Chengdu is a strategically important destination and a major logistical hub so this new route – the UK’s only direct flight – opens up a range of opportunities to access markets throughout Central and Western China, be it by air, road or rail,” commented Guy Stephenson, CCO of London Gatwick Airport on the service. “UK visitors now also have a fast, direct route to Chengdu, one of China’s most culturally significant destinations and one that attracts millions of tourists from around the globe every year. This new service is Gatwick’s 67th long-haul route. Our growing long-haul network looks set to play an increasingly important role connecting the UK to global markets at this vital stage in the country’s history.” With the return of Air China, it becomes the second mainland Chinese airline to serve Gatwick, with Tianjin Airlines offering twice-weekly flights from Tianjin via Chongqing. Along with these two airlines, Gatwick is also served by China Airlines from Taipei Taoyuan as well as Cathay Pacific Airways from Hong Kong. See how London Gatwick Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.