Direct air links with China will be restored for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Hainan Airlines has announced it will resume its Beijing-Manchester service from Monday August 22.
The airline started flights from the northern hub in 2016, with the route going on to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds in trade, investment and tourism benefits.
The UK and Chinese governments last week agreed Manchester-China was one of the air corridors that could resume after a two-and-a-half year hiatus, and Hainan has moved quickly to start operating the popular service again, in time for the busy student season.
The news has been hailed as a major boost to the North and the UK’s levelling-up ambitions, with Manchester Airport becoming the only gateway outside of London with a direct service to mainland China.