Gatwick welcomes new China Eastern service between London and Shanghai

  • New direct link to Shanghai provides over 3,700 tonnes of cargo capacity – in both directions – and over 70,000 seats per year
  • “Long-haul connections to China and other non-European nations will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain” – Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO
  • Gatwick’s long-haul routes grew by +20.8% in the airport’s busiest-ever July

GATWICK, UK, 2018-Aug-09 — /Travel PR News/ — A vital new long-haul connection from London Gatwick to Shanghai – China’s largest city – was announced today (08/08/2018), as Gatwick recorded year-on-year long-haul growth of +20.8% during July.

The new service will be flown by China Eastern – the country’s second biggest airline – and will connect the UK to one of the world’s leading business centres, providing over 70,000 seats and more than 3,700 metric tonnes of new cargo capacity each year.

Shanghai is seen as the showpiece of China’s dramatic economic growth and, like London, is a global financial centre. It is also the leading city driving the Yangtze River Economic Zone – a region accounting for 20% of China’s GDP and responsible for a third of the country’s imports and exports.

The launch of the new route follows the busiest July in Gatwick’s history, which saw the volume of cargo handled by the airport grow by +28.8% year-on-year as a direct result of its soaring long-haul growth.

Gatwick’s Asia routes grew by +134.8% compared with July last year, while the airport’s US connections continue to prove popular, with New York +67.5%, Boston +58.7% and Las Vegas +32.5%. Tampa saw a +5.3% increase in passenger numbers in July, ahead of the launch of new Norwegian flights from Gatwick to the Florida city this October.

The new China Eastern Airlines service to Shanghai will begin on 7th December 2018. The Airbus A330-200 will depart from Gatwick on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 12:00 and will fly to Shanghai Pudong Airport.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport said:

“I’m delighted to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick and look forward to the start of this vital new link to Shanghai which, like London, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important cities and business hubs. Starting from such a strong position gives this new route every chance of success, as it will be popular with business passengers travelling between the two economic centres, as well as leisure passengers keen to sample the excitement of China’s largest city.

“July’s traffic figures demonstrate that Gatwick’s long-haul network is driving the airport’s growth. These connections to China and other non-European countries will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain as we become more reliant on them to generate vital growth through trade and by exploiting the other business opportunities that they provide.”

Month Moving Annual Total
Growth Aug-17 Aug-16 Growth
Jul-18 Jul-17 (%) Jul-18 Jul-17 (%)
Total terminal passengers (000s) 4,795.5 4,749.5 1.0% 45,808.5 45,183.2 1.4%
Market Analysis:
UK + Channel Islands 326.5 363.7 (10.2)% 3,847.3 4,101.1 (6.2)%
Ireland 146.0 146.9 (0.6)% 1,676.8 1,683.5 (0.4)%
European scheduled 3,234.4 3,266.5 (1.0)% 29,118.1 29,259.2 (0.5)%
European charter 242.5 272.0 (10.8)% 2,915.0 3,115.4 (6.4)%
North Atlantic 437.5 350.4 24.8% 3,781.9 3,028.8 24.9%
Other long haul 408.6 350.0 16.8% 4,469.3 3,995.2 11.9%
Air transport movements 27,882 28,067 (0.7)% 283,642 286,361 (0.9)%
Cargo (metric tonnes) 10,129 7,865 28.8% 109,315 86,544 26.3%

About London Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the UK contributing £5.3 billion to national GDP and generating 85,000 jobs nationally, with around 24,000 on the wider airport campus alone. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

For further information on Gatwick Airport see or follow us on Twitter at

Media enquiries:
+ 44 (0) 1293 505000