Air China’s new service between Chengdu and London that British Airways (BA) dropped in 2017 will be to Gatwick.

The Chinese carrier proposes to fly Airbus A330s on the route three times a week beginning in July 2018, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.

But whereas BA connected Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport with London’s Heathrow Airport, Air China proposes to fly to London Gatwick.

BA opened the route in September 2013 using Boeing 787s, but ceased flying in January 2017.

Chongqing, a rival of Chengdu 160 miles to the southeast, has had a Tianjin Airlines service to London Gatwick since June 2016.

Tianjin Airlines and Hainan Airlines have this year applied for service rights to London from Xian and Shenzhen, respectively.

Bradley Perrett,

Research by Ryan Wang