China Eastern Airlines added London Gatwick to its network on 7 December, launching a three times weekly service from Shanghai Pudong, with the airline becoming the UK airport’s sixth Asian and Middle Eastern operator. Pictured at the launch celebration at Gatwick are Guy Stephenson, CCO, London Gatwick Airport, and Kevin Li, GM UK & Ireland, China Eastern Airlines. With this launch there will be 27 weekly flights between London and Shanghai in W18/19.
- China Eastern Airlines launched flights to London Gatwick (LGW) from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) on 7 December, the airline’s second route from China’s financial centre to the UK capital, with it already serving London Heathrow daily. The airline will operate to Gatwick three times weekly on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays using A330-200s, with the SkyTeam carrier poised to face no direct competition on the 9,249-kilometre sector. “With China being one of the UK’s main trading partners, this is a vital business route connecting two of the world’s most important cities – but Shanghai is equally an exciting and much sought-after tourist destination. We’re pleased to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick for the first time and are delighted that our passengers now have direct access to everything that China’s largest city has to offer,” commented Guy Stephenson, CCO of London Gatwick on the arrival of its newest long-haul airline. Along with China Eastern, both British Airways (10 times weekly) and Virgin Atlantic (daily) link Heathrow with Shanghai, meaning that with this latest route, there will be 27 weekly flights between London and Shanghai. For Gatwick, Shanghai becomes its second route to mainline China after Chengdu which is served by Air China. The airport is also served by China Airlines from Taipei Taoyuan, while the airport is linked to Hong Kong courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways. Along with these airlines, Gatwick is also served by Emirates and Qatar Airways from their respective hubs of Dubai and Doha, meaning that in total Gatwick is served by six Asian and Middle Eastern operators.