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Regular flights from Birmingham Airport to China cancelled in shock move

Birmingham | News | Published:

Hopes for the start of regular flights between Birmingham and China have collapsed after the tour operator suddenly pulled out.

Caissa Touristic, one of China's most important travel companies, contacted the airport at the end of last week to say it was cancelling the planned service.

The shock news has come out of the blue, leaving the airport surprised and 'very, very disappointed', said a spokeswoman.

Caissa had confirmed just last month it would run two flights a week from July with Beijing Capital Airlines, to Beijing and Shanghai's Hangzhou Airport.

The travel company has given no reason for its decision, says Birmingham Airport, which has said it is seeking 'clarification' from Caissa bosses.

The cancellation is a massive blow to the airport, which was aiming to rival the new direct service to China from Manchester, which is due to start next month.

The West Midlands has forged close links with China in recent years and over the last two summers Caissa Touristic ran a sell-out charter services that carried thousands of Chinese tourists into Birmingham for package holidays in the UK.

And news of the takeover of Aston Villa by Beijing-based tycoon Dr Tony Xia last week raised the prospect of big-spending Chinese football fans flocking to Birmingham.

Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said, "We have been advised by Caissa that these flights will no longer operate this summer.

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"There is strong demand for flights between China and the Midlands. Last year around 150,000 people flew between our region and China and we have made significant investment over the last two years to offer services with Caissa. We are currently unaware as to the reasons why given the success of the China services over the last two summers from Birmingham.

"We are awaiting more information from the tour operator as to why it has made this decision but we are confident that we will be able to reinstate services from between Birmingham and China in the future."

"There is strong demand for flights between China and the Midlands. Last year around 150,000 people flew between our region and China and we have made significant investment over the last two years to offer services with Caissa. We are currently unaware as to the reasons why given the success of the China services over the last two summers from Birmingham.

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