New Taiwan service takes off from London Gatwick Airport
Guy Hands attended the launch of Gatwick Airport’s new service to Taipei which will provide a major boost to both UK and Taiwanese businesses.
Minister for international trade, Greg Hands, and UK trade envoy to Taiwan, Lord Faulkner, attended the launch of a new trade link from the UK to the Far East last week - when the UK’s only direct flight to Taipei left Gatwick for the first time.
The majority of UK airfreight is exported in the hold of long haul passenger aircraft and this four times a week China airlines service will provide both UK and Taiwanese businesses with the fastest access to both markets, in addition to carrying business and leisure passengers.
According to the UK Government, approximately 300 UK companies are currently located in Taiwan in financial and business services, ICT, telecommunications, infrastructure, environmental technology, creative industries and marine industries, with around 180 Taiwanese companies currently based in the UK.
The UK is seen by Taiwan as a world leader in the creative industries, and cultural and educational links are growing with approximately 30% of all Taiwanese who study overseas - around 8,000 students - doing so in the UK. Taiwanese tourism to the UK has also risen sharply since the lifting of the visa regime for visits of under six months in 2009.
The China Airlines service is the latest in Gatwick’s flourishing 60+ strong network – the world’s largest for a single runway airport – and one that will soon be followed by new services to Buenos Aires, Chicago and Austin in the New Year.
Hands said: “This renewed direct flight between London and Taipei is another vote of confidence in the British economy, and the growing trade links between the UK and Taiwan.
“I know well the huge opportunities Taiwan’s vibrant economy presents to British businesses and this flight will make it even easier for firms looking to satisfy the growing Taiwanese demand for quality British goods and services.”
Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer at Gatwick Airport, said: “We welcome China Airlines to Gatwick for the launch of this new service that will provide a vital link between the UK and Taiwan at a critical time in our economic history.
“The new route will boost trade between our two enterprising economies and help our businesses to get goods to market as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“The airport is increasingly connecting the UK to more and more long-haul destinations across the globe and our 60+ long haul network now includes destinations in China, the Far East, Africa, South America and across the US.”
UK Trade Envoy to Taiwan, Lord Faulkner, added: “I’m delighted by the reintroduction of direct flights from London to Taipei.
“I’m a veteran traveller to Taiwan and have been convinced of the huge potential for both economies to benefit from better trade links for some time.
“Personally, I can vouch for the immediate impact on business, as I will be a leading a business delegation over in January and am thrilled we can add some precious hours to our itinerary.”