LONDON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The direct air route from London to southwest China's Chongqing Municipality will increase to three flights each week and be moved from Gatwick to Heathrow airport in August.
A Chongqing-London air route promotion conference was held in the British capital on Friday.
The service, which is the first direct international flight from Chongqing to Britain, is planned to increase to three flights from current two every week by the end of August.
The airport for operation this air route will also be changed from Gatwick in southern London to UK's busiest Heathrow airport, according to the flight operator Tianjin Airline.
Tan Pingchuan, chairman of Chongqing Airport Group, told the promotion conference that since the launch of the direct flight in June 2016, a total of 200 round-trip flights were performed in the two-year operation, serving a total of 108,500 passengers.
"It helps to erect an air-bridge connecting the Southwest China and Eurasia, providing a trip choice that is more convenient, economical and comfortable for travel enthusiasts of Chongqing and surrounding areas, as well as the UK," Tan said.
Louis Bryce, global head of partnership from Visiti Britain (the British Tourist Authority), attached great importance to China-UK flight promotion.
"We value our Chinese visitors and China is a one of most valuable markets for Britain. With every 22 Chinese visitors to the UK, one job is created in the British tourism industry," she said.
"Visitors from China have more than doubled during the last ten years. Our ambition is to double visitors' spends in Chinese market by 2020 to one billion," she added.
As for Chongqing, international flight development has promoted the city's deep integration with the outside world, as the air routes of Chongqing Airport have extended to 54 international cities and regions.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is the first airport in central and western China to have three terminals and three runways.
Chongqing airport aims to become an international hub by 2020, with about 100 international and regional routes and an annual throughput of over 50 million passengers, including 5 million international passengers.