The Far East

“East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet,” wrote rudyard Kipling. That was in the days of empire, when Britain’s overseas dominions – and trade partners – were coloured pink on the map.

Far East

The pink bits have long since vanished, and today, east meets West on equal terms in the global market place, with Britain’s former colonial interests in the Far east included in its sales brochure for the whole region.
 
Comprising the countries of east and south east asia, this region has a population, and a potential market, of over two billion people. It includes the so-called asian Tigers of singapore and south Korea, which through manufacturing on a vast scale in the latter part of the last century achieved exceptional growth and by its end had become advanced industrialised economies.
 
Singapore, for example, is now the world’s fourth-largest financial centre, while dynamic south Korea has invested in over 200 companies in the UK, and both are looking to do more business with Britain, according to UK Trade & Investment.
 
Also ripe for the picking are the region’s stable, emerging and fastest-growing markets of Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.

Conversely, Bangkok continues to suffer civic unrest, but is nevertheless anticipating an end to the troubles. The UK’s exports to the country include fuels, machinery, raw materials and vehicles and there is potential in the expansion of the city’s metro system and airport.
 
Thailand has also expressed interest in the aerospace sector, which is music to the ears of Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. announcing a major UK investment of £154million in research projects at the Farnborough air show in July, Clegg said: “The UK’s aerospace industry is going from strength to strength and helping our economic recovery. I want to ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation.”
 
The investment is part of the £2billion the Government will pour into the industry to research and develop the next generation of quieter, faster and more environmentally friendly aircraft.
 
Innovation is also at the heart of a further Government initiative which will help boost exports in a number of sectors; it is putting £400million up front to find and fund fresh ideas. some £82million will go to the energy sector, £80million to healthcare, £72million to high-value manufacturing, £70million to transport, and £42million to digital technologies.
 
Whether or not your company’s exports will benefit from the new Government initiatives, a trip to the Far east should amply reward the effort.

Bangkok
From London Heathrow, British Airways and EVA Air fly to the Thai capital daily, with Thai Airways flying twice-daily. Lufthansa serves the city daily from Frankfurt, Air France thrice-weekly from Paris Charles de Gaulle, and KLM five times a week out of Amsterdam Schiphol. Flights from the Gulf include Etihad’s 20 services a week from Abu Dhabi, Emirates’ six daily out of Dubai, Oman Air’s six weekly from Muscat, and Qatar Airways’ 28 services a week from Doha.

Jakarta
There are no direct flights from the UK to Jakarta, but Garuda Indonesia is launching five services a week from London Gatwick via Amsterdam on September 8th. The alternatives are Lufthansa flying five times weekly from Frankfurt, and Air France and KLM offering daily services from Paris and Amsterdam respectively. Or travel via the Gulf, from where Etihad has 21 flights a week out of Abu Dhabi, Emirates three a day from Dubai and Qatar Airways 18 a week from Doha.
 
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines flies twice-daily from London Heathrow and British Airways daily. From the Continent, Lufthansa has five flights a week from Frankfurt, Air France provides four weekly from Paris CDG, and KLM flies daily out of Schiphol. Flights from their Gulf bases to KL include Etihad’s 11 a week, Emirates’ four daily, Qatar Airways’ 21 a week and Oman Air’s twice-weekly operation.
 
Seoul
British Airways, Korean Air and Asiana all fly daily from Heathrow to Seoul. Air France and KLM also offer daily flights from their hub airports, and Lufthansa has the same frequency from Frankfurt, plus six flights weekly out of Munich. Etihad serves the South Korean capital twice a day from Abu Dhabi and Emirates daily from Dubai, the same frequency as Qatar Airways from Doha.

Singapore
From Heathrow, British Airways flies to Singapore twice a day and Singapore Airlines 28 times a week. Lufthansa, Air France and KLM all provide daily flights from their hubs. Departing their home airports, Etihad has ten services a week to Singapore, Emirates five a day, and Qatar Airways 14 weekly.

Tokyo
British Airways, Japan Airlines and ANA fly daily from Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda airport. Also from Heathrow, BA serves Tokyo Narita daily, as does Virgin Atlantic. Lufthansa has daily flights from Frankfurt to both Haneda and Narita, plus a similar frequency from Munich to Haneda. Air France offers a total of 20 flights a week to Tokyo from Paris CDG, while KLM has ten flights a week from Amsterdam Schiphol. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways serve both airports 35 times a week from their Gulf hubs.

Getting around the region
All the Far East international airlines offer good domestic routes from their hubs to key points around the country. These are supplemented by their subsidiaries, local legacy carriers and a wave of low-cost operators, a sector which is enjoying strong growth in the region.

For business visitors with an itinerary covering more than one country, most major hub airports provide a network of destinations across the region. And where they don’t serve a specific city, members of an alliance will often have codeshare partners who will provide the link. While computersavvy staff may fancy compiling a multidestination itinerary themselves, such are the complexities, the task is best left to the travel arranger or TMC.

Selected flight information supplied by OAG, a market leader in aviation intelligence. For further information, see www.oag.com

Information correct at time of publication: September 2014