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New Route of the Day (12 December 2023): China Southern Airlines between Zhengzhou and London LGW


China Southern Airlines introduced flights between Zhengzhou in central China, and London LGW on Tuesday 12 December. The 8,545-kilometre route will be maintained 2-weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the 265-seat 787-8 aircraft. The airline faces no competition between the two cities.

Flight CZ653 departs Zhengzhou at 14:00 local time, arriving at London LGW at 17:20 local time. The return service, operating as flight CZ654, takes off from the UK capital at 20:20, touching back down in China at 15:00 the following afternoon.

What they said

Stephanie Wear, VP Aviation Development at London LGW said: “We are delighted to welcome China Southern to London Gatwick. China is a hugely important market for us, our passengers, and the regional economy, so it’s fantastic news for London and the South East to have China’s three major airlines operating from Gatwick for the first time. The new service to Zhengzhou will enable passengers to not only visit a fantastic city steeped in history and culture, but also visit family and friends, and connect to destinations across China and Asia.”

Patricia Yates, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said: “China is an incredibly important inbound visitor market, our second most valuable in 2019 and we know the UK is high on the wish list of Chinese travellers. The new China Southern route into London Gatwick is fantastic news for holiday-makers and business visitors alike. We want to deliver a world-class welcome for visitors and boosting airline connectivity and seat capacity, making it easier to get to Britain, is crucial to our competitive tourism offer.”

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London LGW now served by China’s three largest carriers

China Southern Airlines joins Air China and China Eastern Airlines in maintaining flights to London LGW. As a result, the airport is now served by the country’s three largest airlines.

With the addition of Zhengzhou, London LGW boasts 16-weekly flights to China, complementing the daily flights from Shanghai PVG operated by both Air China and China Eastern Airlines for a total of 14-weekly services.

London LGW now has more flights to China than prior to the pandemic in 2019 when it saw a combined total of 11-weekly flights from Shanghai PVG operated by Air China (4-weekly) and China Eastern Airlines (daily)

Zhengzhou is the capital and largest city of Henan Province in the central part of China. The city lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River and is a major hub for China’s national transportation network, with railways connecting Zhengzhou to Europe. It has a population of 12.6 million and is home to the world’s largest iPhone factory.

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