The two airport authorities will jointly develop a strategy to increase the number of passengers travelling between China and Scotland. Glasgow Airport and Shanghai Airport Authority, which operates the city’s Pudong and Hongqiao airports, will also share expertise and best practice in all aspects of airport business and exchange ideas in order to help promote tourism opportunities.
Commercial director Francois Bourienne, who signed the memorandum of understanding on behalf of Glasgow Airport on May 17, said: “It is a tremendous honour to be in Shanghai today to sign this partnership agreement, which marks a significant milestone in the relationship between the cities of Glasgow and Shanghai. 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: “Shanghai Airport Authority is delighted to enter into this long-term partnership with the airport of Scotland’s largest city; Glasgow Airport. 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.”
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “This is a fantastic coup for Glasgow Airport, and one that the Chamber will support with great vigour not least since the majority of Scotland’s Chinese community live and work in Glasgow. The airport team is to be warmly congratulated for their initiative. China is at the top of our international trade priority list, with Shanghai one of its most strategically important cities. There are enormous opportunities in China which has gone through three decades of extraordinary change and where the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has been active in developing connections.”