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


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