Wuhan-Lon­don direct flight lands new projects

Changjiang Weekly - - CONTENTS - By Tang Yu & Zhang Quanlu

The cer­e­mony for the in­au­gu­ral Wuhan-Lon­don direct flight and com­mer­cial sign­ing was held at Tianhe In­ter­na­tional Air­port ( TIA) Ter­mi­nal 3on May 30.

Sun Xianzhong, a tour guide at lo­cal travel agency Fa­vor Tour, was the first pas­sen­ger to check in for the Wuhan-Lon­don flight. He said that pre­vi­ously in or­der to go to Lon­don from Wuhan he and his team would have to trans­fer at air­ports in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, or Bei­jing. This added four hours to their jour­ney and left them feeling very tired. Now, the direct flight, which takes only 11 and a half hours, makes the whole jour­ney much eas­ier. As the plane lands at 18: 45 lo­cal time, he can go to the ho­tel early in the evening and get a good night's sleep.

Ac­cord­ing to staff at China South­ern Air­lines, Wuhan's unique geographical ad­van­tage makes it a pop­u­lar stopover among pas­sen­gers from other cities in China. It is es­ti­mated that this type of pas­sen­ger ac­counts for 1/3of the pas­sen­ger flow. Even in some cities where there are direct flights, many trav­el­ers still pre­fer to trans­fer in Wuhan after con­sid­er­ing the cost and con­ve­nience.

At the event, there were 10 projects signed be­tween Wuhan and the U.K. with a to­tal amount of ap­prox­i­mately USD 66 mil­lion. One project was signed with the Bri­tish-Chi­nese Trade As­so­ci­a­tion's U.K. head­quar­ters, one in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion was in­tro­duced, a cargo ship­ping route was opened, and one for­eign-funded in­dus­trial project was uti­lized. Also, along with one au­to­mo­tive de­sign and co­op­er­a­tion project, four com­mod­ity trades and one ser­vice trade were signed.

In ad­di­tion, Qu Guangji, gen­eral man­ager of China South­ern Air­lines Hubei Branch, the Stan­dard Char­tered Bank Wuhan Branch, and Jones Lang of LaSalle

Hubei Branch were hired as the "Wuhan In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Am­bas­sadors."

The Mu­nic­i­pal Bureau of Com­merce (Mer­chants Bureau) stated that the direct flight not only es­tab­lishes a phys­i­cal con­nec­tion be­tween Wuhan and U.K., but also acts as an im­por­tant win­dow and spring­board for Wuhan to make it­self known to the world. It will be a strong driv­ing force in the rapid de­vel­op­ment of the city's econ­omy. Wuhan Asia Europe Lo­gis­tics Co., Ltd. has signed a con­tract with Shang­hai Air Sea Transport Inc. to carry out the Wuhan-Lon­don freight ser­vice busi­ness, fly­ing three times a week. In­ter­na­tional routes, the most con­ve­nient way for Wuhan to open up to and in­te­grate into the out­side world, are be­com­ing a magic key" for at­tract­ing in­vest­ment.

Sev­eral co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments were signed be­tween some fa­mous Bri­tish brands in the fields of food and bev­er­ages, daily ne­ces­si­ties, and fash­ion ap­parel and some fa­mous com­pa­nies in Hubei Province, such as Wushang Group, Zhong­bai Group and Zhong­shang Group. Wuhan cit­i­zens will en­joy more 'Bri­tish-style' prod­ucts. Head­quar­tered in Lon­don, Bakka­vor Group is an in­ter­na­tional food man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in freshly-pre­pared foods. It plans to invest in a fresh food pro­duc­tion base in Wuhan. Thought­works signed a con­tract with Manch­ester Air­ports Group to ex­port in­tel­li­gent chat bot soft­ware. Wuhan In­dus­trial Tech­nol­ogy Re­search In­sti­tute of Geo-Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Co., LTD and MIRA (Mo­tor In­dus­try Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion) signed a con­tract for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tor in ar­eas like low-emis­sions cars, self-driv­ing cars, in­tel­li­gent trans­porta­tion, and ve­hi­cle testing. Ruiyin Clothes Co., Ltd., a pri­vate en­ter­prise in Wuhan, and Dick­ies of U.K. signed a con­tract for the pur­chase and sale of over­alls.

Martin Wal­ley, Vice Con­sul Gen­eral of the Bri­tish Con­sulate-Gen­eral Wuhan pos­ing with Changjiang Weekly

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