Birmingham to China flights: West Midlands Mayor pledges air links are ‘back on the list’ after Covid

The future of direct air links between Birmingham and China will soon be “back on the list” after Covid-19, West Midlands elected mayor Andy Street has pledged
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street with James Wong, chair of Birmingham’s Chinese Festival CommitteeWest Midlands Mayor Andy Street with James Wong, chair of Birmingham’s Chinese Festival Committee
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street with James Wong, chair of Birmingham’s Chinese Festival Committee

The issue was raised when Mayor Street was launching the colourful Chinese New Year celebrations in Centenary Square on Westside this morning.

He had been speaking about the importance of trading links between the West Midlands and China when he was asked if there was any news about air links between Birmingham and China.

Mayor Street replied: “I was out in Shanghai just before the pandemic pressing the case and it was looking promising. At the moment, of course, ‘no’ is the short answer, but as we recover it will be back on the list.”

The pledge from Mayor Street came after he had launched a traditional lion dance outside The Library of Birmingham at 8.30am. The dance is now visiting other parts of the city centre and beyond on a two-day, pop-up tour.

The special celebrations have been organised by James Wong, chair of Birmingham’s Chinese Festival Committee and managing director of the city’s famous Chung Ying Restaurant.

At the launch, Mayor Street said: “The Year of the Tiger signifies strength, fearlessness and bravery, and if you think of what we’ve been through in the last two years it couldn’t be more timely.”

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “We were honoured to host the launch of these Chinese New Year celebrations and – as always – were keen to press Mayor Street on future plans for the city at the same time.

“It was pleasing to hear that he’s still going to be championing Birmingham’s trading and travel relationships with China as soon as a global recovery from Covid-19 makes that possible.”

There are more free events to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Bullring on Saturday.

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