Air China has resumed flights between Gawick and Beijing Capital International airport, initially with a four-times-weekly service.
It represents the first flights between Gatwick and China since early 2020, and from April 24 the route will increase to daily.
The Star Alliance carrier also operates flights between Beijing Capital International and London Heathrow.
Commenting on the news Stephanie Wear, VP aviation development, Gatwick Airport said:
“We are delighted to welcome Air China back to London Gatwick, providing a vital connection between two of the world’s most influential capital cities.
“China is the world’s second-largest economy, so by offering direct flights between London and Beijing, Gatwick is providing an important service to people and businesses across the Southeast
“It is also great news for tourism and hospitality across the region. Chinese visitors are traditionally high spenders so the return of regular flights will help support these sectors, which suffered so badly throughout the pandemic.”
According to data from Visit Britain, Chinese visitors spent and average of £1,828 per visit in pre-pandemic 2019, contributing a total of £1.8 billion to the economy.
Norse Atlantic is set to ramp up its transatlantic services from Gatwick in the coming months, while Delta will add a seasonal daily service between Gatwick and JFK from April 10, and SAUDIA will launch flights from Jeddah in June.