Birmingham Airport, located close to the city of Birmingham, has announced plans for new services to China.
The airport is hoping to offer new routes between England and China once a runway extension is completed at the airport. The airport runway extension is scheduled for completion in 2014.
The airport chief executive officer, Paul Kehoe, recently visited Chengdu, in China, for the Routes Asia Aviation Conference, and has been exploring the possibility of airlines offering direct flights to Birmingham from China.
Kehoe said, ‘We hear so much from BAA about the UK losing lucrative new routes because of the capacity constraints at Heathrow but the south-east isn’t the only solution.
Our runway extension will allow aircraft to fly direct from China, bringing investment to the region, and giving airlines and passengers an alternative to battling with London’s congestion problems. We now need the UK government to endorse Birmingham airport, when it releases its aviation policy review later this year, as a national airport that can offer a rapid and cost-effective solution to the aviation gap.
Our runway extension is already under construction and will be complete early in 2014. The UK government has said there will be no additional runway capacity for flights into London; it is therefore critical for airports such as Birmingham to deliver direct long-haul flights and this kind of positive commercial discussion paves the way for that to happen.’
Birmingham Airport is currently serving around nine million passengers every year, and is expected to increase its traffic to 36 million by 2030, with more investment in the company’s infrastructure.