China Southern Airbus A330-243 B-6056 operates their inaugural flight from Beijing to Birmingham

China Southern Airlines Airbus A330-243 B-6056 touches down on Birmingham's Runway 33 just before 0630....

... at the end of its nonstop inaugural flight from Beijing, China - needless to say its first visit to BHX!

The aircraft taxied to the terminal via Taxiway Echo....

.... and was greeted to a traditional water canon salute - rainbow included!

.... by the Birmingham Airport Fire Service

This is the first of three charter flights that are a joint initiative between Birmingham Airport, China Southern....

.... Caissa Travel Management and Birmingham China specialist agency, United Travel, and demonstrate

.... the demand for more flights between the two countries. Birmingham is the first airport outside London to offer
non-stop flights to China made possible as a result of the recently completed 400 metre runway extension

The aircraft parked on Stand 42C with Birmingham Airport's new ATC Tower in the background

.... the air bridge on this stand branded in Birmingham and MG colours - now a Chinese owned company

The flight had brought in a group of Chinese tourists who were clearly looking forward to their holiday....

.... and who were greeted on arrival by Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport's CEO, Mr Ren Jun, Vice President
of Caissa Travel, Lord Popat of Harrow, Aviation spokesperson in the House of Lords, the Lord Lieutenant
for the West Midlands, The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and The Mayor of Solihull, as well as representatives
from the airport and the local Chinese community....

.... and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra - while the passengers went to collect their baggage

... attention moved back to the aircraft for a photo call of the VIP's plus a Chinese dragon!

.... the arrival of this first flight from China having attracted a lot of media attention

Mr Ren Jun and Paul Kehoe also posed with the two company's mascots - Caissa Bear and BHX's Zoom

.... and yes there was the traditional inaugural flight cake - Panda included!

By now the Chinese passengers who are one various one week tours organised by Cassia Travel Management....

.... were preparing to board their coaches but not before being interviewed by the BBC!

There was a carnival atmosphere in front of the terminal with two Chinese lions performing....

.... and Birmingham based MG - a Chinese owned company - displaying its latest range of cars

It was a glorious Birmingham July morning so before the coaches departed....

.... many of the passengers posed for a group photo first with Paul Kehoe and Mr Ren Jun

.... and then as a group before re boarding the coaches to start their UK holiday

The return flight was being chartered by Birmingham based China specialist agency, United Travel....

.... taking UK residents on a series of two week tours to China - non-stop from Birmingham!

On arrival at the departure gate the passengers - and the China Southern flight crew - were greeted by the lions

.... who give a another spirited dance display while the passengers enjoyed complimentary drinks and snacks

.... it was then time for the passengers to board China Southern flight CZ 3002 to Beijing

.... with Airbus A330-243 B-6056 still parked on Birmingham Airport's Stand 42C

.... unfortunately during loading the aircraft developed a technical issue which delayed its departure

.... but shortly before 1330 it was ready to line up on Birmingham's now extended Runway 33 with the
media waiting for its departure - the first to require the full use of the now 3,003 metres long runway

... by now the sun was much better from the Elmdon side of the airport as it rolled passed

.... Birmingham Airport's new Air Traffic Control Tower rotating

.... shortly after the runway intersection

Next stop China - Hello World! - a big well done to all at Birmingham Airport and their Partners
for organising a memorable inaugural event - there are two more flights on Tuesday 29 July
and Tuesday 5 August 2014 - for more information see here

Tuesday 22 July 2014

First direct China Southern Airbus A330 charter flight from Beijing lands at Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport today/Tuesday 22 July 2014 welcomed the UK's first direct flight from China into
a non-London airport and inaugurated the use of its recently extended runway as the China Southern
Airbus A330-200 service departed for its five thousand mile journey back to Beijing

Tourism Minister Helen Grant MP visited the Airport to celebrate the historic flight and to congratulate
Birmingham Airport on becoming the country's first gateway to offer Chinese charter packages to the
UK. The flight was welcomed by Lord Popat of Harrow, Government Aviation spokesperson in the
House of Lords, alongside dignitaries from the city and surrounding area
 
The China Southern A330-200 aircraft, operated by one of China's leading tour operators, Caissa Travel
Management Co Ltd, arrived into Birmingham Airport fully laden with 248 tourists venturing into the UK
on organised package tours. The charter flights are the first in the UK to operate from China and the
sell-out tours demonstrate the enormous demand for more flights between the two countries.

"This is a historic day for Birmingham, and indeed the Midlands region. Never before has a commercial
airliner touched down on a runway outside of the Capital from China and we are enormously proud to
be the first to make this happen," said Paul Kehoe, the Airport's Chief Executive
 

"We have invested more than £200m in recent years to create an airport that can accommodate more
traffic, particularly to and from long-haul markets, and today we saw the first use of our runway extension
for what it was intended: to provide direct global connectivity from the Midlands," Paul added
 
These flights are a result of three years’ collaborative working with Birmingham City Council, Marketing
Birmingham, VisitBritain and the Government. The partnership forms part of the wider VisitBritain "
‘GREAT China Welcome" campaign, which was announced during the Prime Minister’s visit to China in
November 2013 and aims to make the UK the most welcoming destination in Europe for Chinese visitors
 
Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism, visited the airport today to congratulate it on becoming the country's
first gateway to offer Chinese charter packages to the UK. The Tourism Minister, said, "Our tourism industry
helps us sell the country to the world and is contributing to our long-term economic plan. The new route
opened today with a vital trade and tourism partner in China; this is great news for tourism businesses in the
Midlands, making it easier and more attractive for Chinese visitors to explore all the fantastic attractions in the
Midlands such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Warwick Castle and the vibrant city of Birmingham itself"

Other VIPs welcoming the service at the airport included Mr Ren Jun, Vice President of Caissa Travel
Management, the Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands, The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and The Mayor
of Solihull, as well as representatives from the Airport and Midlands' Chinese community

Chen Xiaobing, the President of CAISSA, said: "The successful launch of the first tour group not only presents
CAISSA’s spirit of advancing and innovating with the times, which has attracted wide attention, but also suggests
that this strategic and successful cooperation has opened up a new channel for travelling to England


The Birmingham Airport runway extension, completed in May 2014, provides airlines with unlimited take off range,
allowing jets to fly direct to China and beyond. This puts Birmingham in an ideal place to become an alternative
gateway to the UK for long-haul air travel


The Beijing schedule will operate weekly through to 5 August 2014, arriving into Birmingham at 0640 and
departing for Beijing at 1200 each Tuesday. The departure to Beijing today carried UK tourists travelling on
an organised two week package tour, provided by Birmingham based Chinese travel agent, United Travel


Chinese students from local universities were on hand to assist the airport and the arriving Chinese tourists
through the terminal. 2014 is a year of milestones for Birmingham Airport as it also celebrated its 75th
anniversary on 8 July 2014. During this period, it has handled more than 200m passengers through its doors

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Monday 21 July 2014 - Travel Service Boeing 737-8FH OK-TVF operates a day return charter to Aberdeen

Travel Service Boeing 737-8FH OK-TVF was an early morning arrival when it positioned in from Prague....

.... to operate a day return charter to Aberdeen - its first visit to BHX

easyJet Airbus A319-111 G-EZIW operated their morning service to Belfast International - the
aircraft wears the "Linate - Fiumicino Per Tutti" special colour scheme - Per Tutti = For All

Eastern Jetstream 41 G-MAJC operated their morning flight from Newcastle as they started their
"holiday" schedules which sees their own aircraft replace the leased AIS Airlines Jetstream 32

Thomson Boeing 737-8K5 G-TAWO operated their return IT flight from Ibiza after an aircraft
swap in Spain - its first visit to BHX

Twinjet Airbus A319CJ G-NMAK which had returned from Hamburg the previous Wednesday
reappeared out of the Monarch hangar to perform some engine runs

Global Jetcare Learjet 36 N41GJ made a return visit for a fuel stop while routing from Oradea, Romania,
to Birmingham, Alabama via St John's, Newfoundland on an air ambulance flight Photo: Mike Hollick

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