Manchester Becomes Juneyao’s First Fifth Freedom Destination

In what seems to be a month of European expansion for the Chinese carrier Juneyao Airlines, the airline has now announced Manchester as its latest destination. The announcement not only means Juneyao will now fly to the UK but also that it has chosen the northern English city to be its first fifth freedom destination.

Manchester Becomes Juneyao’s First Fifth Freedom Destination
But the move will also afford Juneyao a better global presence and a foundation for growth. Photo: 湯小沅 via Flickr

The route specifics

Earlier this month, to complement its long-haul European offering, Chinese airline Juneyao Airlines announced it will be flying direct routes to Athens. Less than 20 days later and the airline has announced another big first. It will be implementing its first fifth freedom flight between Manchester and Shanghai.

The route will begin in March 2020, operating three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The aircraft for the service? Juneyao Airlines will be using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to head the operation. But it’s not quite a direct route yet. The service will be stopping in Helsinki and then arriving into Manchester at 08:30. It will return to Shanghai at 10:00.

Manchester Becomes Juneyao’s First Fifth Freedom Destination
Juneyao Airlines will now be flying between Manchester Airport and Shanghai Airport via Helsinki. Photo: Great Circle Mapper

Paving the way for economic growth

Understandably, the new network connection has met with positivity from both Juneyao Airlines and Manchester Airport. Representatives within the north of England have been particularly vocal about the change they anticipate the new route to bring. In a statement by Manchester Airport, Andrew Cowan, who is CEO of the airport, said the following:

“This news underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting people and businesses across the North to the world’s most important markets…We are delighted that Juneyao Air has recognised everything the North has to offer, in terms of its business base, natural and cultural assets and world-leading universities when choosing to launch this new service.”

This sentiment was echoed in statements by a multitude of entities in northern England. Praise came from business executives in Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, and Liverpool. A full digest of the news can be found at Manchester Airport’s media center.

It seems Manchester Airport already knows how important a Chinese connection is. When it opened up routes to Beijing, Manchester Airport became partly responsible for the 38% increase in Chinese tourists to the region. What’s more, it was also able to facilitate increased tourist spending and export values.

Manchester Becomes Juneyao’s First Fifth Freedom Destination
Manchester executives expect Juneyao’s investment to bring an economic shift. Photo: 湯小沅 via Flickr

Evidently, the North is braced for an economic boom. It foresees the connection bringing business opportunities to Manchester and the surrounding areas. Many officials expect the move to create new jobs and allow passengers to travel to Shanghai more easily than ever before. There is also hope that Chinese investors will look to imbue money into the region, as well as helping solidify Manchester Airport as a gateway to the North.

China’s incentive

But it’s not just Manchester who will benefit. It appears this deal has a benefit for everyone. Whilst Manchester is confident in the fruit that this new link will yield, so too is China. The Chairman at Juneyao Airlines said he was hoping Britons would also take the initiative to invest in China. Wang Junjin said:

“…we look forward to developing Manchester’s traffic growth in the coming years. This route will further promote Greater Manchester’s tourism, as well giving Britain an opportunity to boost its trade and investment links to China.”

Manchester Becomes Juneyao’s First Fifth Freedom Destination
Juneyao has announced Manchester as its first fifth freedom destination. File photo. Photo: byeangel via Flickr

However, for Juneyao Airlines, the profitability of the route doesn’t stop at British investment. The move is also key for greater growth. Whilst it has connections to other European destinations, Juneyao will use the route to make its first dive into the UK market. Shanghai to Manchester will be its first UK service.

But the route will also provide the first fifth freedom destination for the airline. Both of these elements help to train eyes on Juneyao and distinguish it as an air carrier. Already it looks like Juneyao is upping its game and strengthening its mission.

What do you think of Juneyao’s expansion into Manchester? Let us know in the comments!