YORKSHIRE businesses will soon be able to access China’s fastest-growing markets after British Airways announced it will open a new route to Chengdu from Heathrow.
The thrice-weekly service, which is now on sale, will start in September 2013.
British Airways recommenced services between Leeds Bradford Airport and Heathrow this week after a gap of more than three decades.
The new link promises greater connectivity between Yorkshire exporters and international markets via new trade routes.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of parent company IAG, said: “I have visited China on many occasions and last year went to Chengdu to see for myself the progress that has been made at the air- port.
“It is truly impressive and shows vision and ambition.
“I am delighted to announce this new route which demonstrates the importance of mainland China to British Airways and our commitment to grow our presence here.
“Economic growth in China is continuing to outstrip that of most other countries, and Chengdu is not only the capital of Sichuan Province in the south west of China but one of the country’s largest cities.
“Since 1990, Chengdu’s economy has expanded rapidly, consistently delivering double-digit rates of growth.
“We are confident that the new route between Chengdu and London will prove popular with customers travelling between the two major economic hubs.
“China is also a fascinating venue for leisure travellers, and the region is famed for its giant pandas, rich culture and excellent cuisine.”
A spokesman for the carrier told the Yorkshire Post that Yorkshire travellers will “absolutely” be able to access the new route into China via Leeds Bradford.
“It just one of several new long-haul routes that we hope to launch in the future thanks to the BMI acquisition,” he said.
In the summer, British Airways will be increasing frequencies on services from London Heathrow to Amman, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jeddah, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto.