British Airways (BA) is set to launch a new route to the China city of Chengdu, the company revealed Wednesday.
The UK carrier will provide thrice-weekly flights between London Heathrow and Chengdu,starting September 22 next year.
Tickets to Chengdu are on sale now and start from £508 and the route will be served by a four-cabin Boeing 777.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of BA's parent company IAG, said: "I have visited China on many occasions and last year went to Chengdu to see for myself the progress that has been made at the airport. It is truly impressive and shows vision and ambition.
"I am delighted to announce this new route which demonstrates the importance of mainland China to British Airways and our commitment to grow our presence here."
He said the company saw an opportunity in one of the China's largest cities as the country's economy grows. Walsh added that China's wealth was continuing to outstrip that of most other countries.
"Since 1990, Chengdu's economy has expanded rapidly, consistently delivering double-digit rates of growth. We are confident that the new route between Chengdu and London will prove popular with customers travelling between the two major economic hubs," he said.
"China is also a fascinating venue for leisure travellers, and the region is famed for its giant pandas, rich culture and excellent cuisine."
The announcement comes just weeks after the airline started services to Seoul in South Korea.
Next year British Airways is also set to increase frequencies on services from London Heathrow to Amman, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jeddah, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto.
IAG shares were up 3.60% to 187.20p at 15:20 Wednesday.
10 vinyl records worth up to £10,000 - is one in your collection?
News Vinyl is experiencing a resurgence and collectors will pay up to £10,000 for some albums - is it time to dust off your old records?
By Marc Shoffman Published
FCA: Banks are still short-changing savers
The latest FCA review finds that while public shaming has encouraged providers into offering better deals on savings, many of those with closed accounts are still being shortchanged.
By John Fitzsimons Published