Glasgow Airport and Shanghai Airport Authority yesterday (17 May) signed a partnership that will see the two cities work together to jointly lobby airlines in China to establish a direct air service between the West of Scotland and Shanghai.
They have formed the Shanghai Airport Authority and Glasgow Airport Alliance with the goal of developing a strategy to increase the number of passengers travelling between China and Scotland.
Shanghai Airport Authority operates the city’s Pudong and Hongqiao airports.
The partnership will see the airports work together to share expertise and best practice in all aspects of airport business and exchange ideas in order to help promote tourism opportunities between the two cities while creating an attractive environment for future direct air links.
The decision to form the alliance is as a result of months of discussions involving Shanghai Airport Authority’s president and senior executives and representatives from Glasgow Airport.
It was during these discussions that representatives from Glasgow shared their vision for expansion into China and the potential appeal of the airport and city as the gateway to Scotland for tourists from the Shanghai area and beyond.
Commercial director, Francois Bourienne, who today signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of Glasgow Airport, said the alliance marks a “significant milestone” in the relationship between the cities of Glasgow and Shanghai.
He added: “This Memorandum of Understanding provides us with a unique opportunity to work alongside and share ideas with our new colleagues from Shanghai Airport Authority, which is responsible for operating the Chinese mega-city’s two main airports, handling in excess of 100 million passengers combined annually.
“The alliance will ensure both partners not only learn from one another, but work together to further enhance the growing business and tourism links between Scotland and China.
“As well as being the country’s leading long-haul airport, Glasgow is a popular gateway to Scotland for hundreds of thousands of visitors from Asia each year. This partnership will seek to build on this.
“Through the exchange of ideas and continued collaboration, this strong partnership could bring the very real prospect of introducing a direct air link between the West of Scotland and China’s biggest city closer than it has ever been before.”
Shanghai Airport Authority vice president, Ruijun Jia said: “Our aim is to work collaboratively with the management of Glasgow Airport to exchange best practices in airport operations and to jointly implement initiatives to grow visitor numbers between Glasgow, Scotland and Shanghai.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Glasgow Airport confirmed that Mark Johnston has been appointed as managing director. He is currently the airport’s operations director, a position he has held since 2015.
He first joined Glasgow in 2004 and will take up his position on 1 June 2018 reporting directly to Derek Provan, who recently took up the post of chief executive of AGS Airports Ltd, which owns Aberdeen International, Glasgow and Southampton airports.