Flight news: Flights to China from Europe set to take off in 2018

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GETTYNine new routes are being launched to a range of Chinese destinations, including Xi'an and Shenzhen

More flights than ever are set to take off from Europe to China, following growth in capacity to the US in 2016 and Australia in 2017.

A total of nine new routes to a range of Chinese destinations - including Xi’an, Shenzhen and Changsha - as well as one resumed service and three in the pipeline, are set to launch during the first half of 2018.

By June 2018, there will be an extra thirty flights a week, with 6,000 more seats available for Europe-bound Chinese travellers and vice versa.

This is according to the latest figures from ForwardKeys, which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million booking transactions every day.

ChinaGETTY

By June 2018, there will be an extra 30 flights a week, with 6,000 more seats available

The Chinese have been growing in confidence for international travel for some time now and that trend is being reciprocated

Oliver Jager

The new routes include Tianjin Airlines to London Gatwick from Xi’an twice weekly and Wuhan to London Heathrow by China Southern Airlines three times a week, both commencing in May 2018.

Other planned routes include a twice weekly service from Shenzhen to Madrid, Shenyang to Frankfurt three times a week and Beijing to Barcelona four times a week.

Beijing-Dublin-Edinburgh and Changsha-London routes have been applied for by Hainan Airlines to the authorities, but capacity has not yet been scheduled.

Europe, which has a 10 per cent market share of Chinese outbound tourism, saw a 7.4 per cent increase of Chinese travellers during the recent New Year holiday period in January and February 2018.

February coincides with Chinese New Year’s celebrations, this year being Year of the Dog.

Flight bookings from the rest of the world to China have increased for the coming six months, ahead 11.8 per cent compared to last year.

Most of these flight bookings are coming from the Americas, which is responsible for 25 per cent of travel to China.

Europe makes up 13.2 per cent of all outbound flight bookings to China, with the UK seeing a 7 per cent increase. 

ChinaGETTY

Europe makes up 13.2% of outbound flight bookings to China, with the UK seeing a 7% increase

A further 6.7 per cent of bookings originate from Africa and the Middle East, and 5.4 per cent from the Asia Pacific region.

ForwardKeys CEO and co-founder, Oliver Jager, commented: “It seems that EU-China Tourism Year is having a positive impact on travel in both directions.

“The Chinese have been growing in confidence for international travel for some time now and that trend is being reciprocated.

“Europe clearly has a lot to gain from this increased capacity because the Chinese are ready to spend money on luxury goods while on holiday, providing good opportunities for European retailers”.

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