China-Europe flights to boom, says ForwardKeys

China-Europe flights to boom, says ForwardKeys

Europe is set to see a boom in flights from China this year following growth in capacity to the US and Australia over the past two years,

A total of nine new routes and one resumed service will start during the first half of 2018, and a further three are in the pipeline.

At least four China-Europe routes are already planned for the second half of the year, according to the latest figures from ForwardKeys, which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million daily booking transactions.

The new routes include Tianjin Airlines to Gatwick from Xi’an twice weekly and Wuhan to Heathrow by China Southern Airlines, both from May, and a Changsha-London route starting this month.

Other planned services include twice weekly Brijing-Edinburgh-Dublin flights from June

Europe, with a 10% share of outbound travel from China, saw a 7.4% increase in Chinese travellers during the recent New Year holiday period in January and February, according to ForwardKeys.

Meanwhile, global flight bookings to China for the coming six months are 11.8% ahead year-on-year.

ForwardKeys chief executive and co-founder Olivier Jager said: “It seems that the 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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