Thursday, 7 December 2017

Air China arrives at London Gatwick - vital trade route

Minister for International Trade, Greg Hands, and UK Trade Envoy to Taiwan, Lord Faulkner, attended the launch of a vital new trade link from the UK to the Far East today - when the UK’s only direct flight to Taipei left Gatwick for the first time.

The majority of UK airfreight is exported in the hold of long-haul passenger aircraft and this four times a week China airlines service will provide both UK and Taiwanese businesses with the fastest access to both markets, in addition to carrying business and leisure passengers.

According to the UK Government, approximately 300 UK companies are currently located in Taiwan in financial and business services, ICT, telecommunications, infrastructure, environmental technology, creative industries and marine industries, with around 180 Taiwanese companies currently based in the UK. 

The UK is seen by Taiwan as a world leader in the creative industries, and cultural and educational links are growing with approximately 30% of all Taiwanese who study overseas - around 8000 students - doing so in the UK.  Taiwanese tourism to the UK has also risen sharply since the lifting of the visa regime for visits of under 6 months in 2009.

The China Airlines service is the latest in Gatwick’s flourishing 60+ strong network – the world’s largest for a single runway airport – and one that will soon be followed by new services to Buenos Aires, Chicago and Austin in the New Year.

 Read on for reactions -

Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We welcome China Airlines to Gatwick for the launch of this new service that will provide a vital link between the UK and Taiwan at a critical time in our economic history. The new route will boost trade between our two enterprising economies and help our businesses to get goods to market as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“The airport is increasingly connecting the UK to more and more long haul destinations across the globe and our 60+ long haul network now includes destinations in China, the Far East, Africa, South America and across the US.” 

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands said:

“This renewed direct flight between London and Taipei is another vote of confidence in the British economy, and the growing trade links between the UK and Taiwan. I know well the huge opportunities Taiwan’s vibrant economy presents to British businesses and this flight will make it even easier for firms looking to satisfy the growing Taiwanese demand for quality British goods and services.”

Roger Han, VP of Europe for China Airlines said:

“We’re delighted to be back in the UK this year, with the inaugural flight marking the ease of travel between the UK and Taiwan.”

“As the only non-stop service between the two countries, we want to highlight to travellers the benefits to travelling to Taipei, for business or leisure purposes. In addition, our extensive route network offers destinations throughout Asia and onward to Australia for British travellers to enjoy.”

UK Trade Envoy to Taiwan, Lord Faulkner said:

“I’m delighted by the reintroduction of direct flights from London to Taipei. I’m a veteran traveller to Taiwan and have been convinced of the huge potential for both economies to benefit from better trade links for some time. Personally I can vouch for the immediate impact on business, as I will be a leading a business delegation over in January and am thrilled we can add some precious hours to our itinerary.”

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