UK transit is to become easier for up to 6m travellers as Theresa May announces the relaxation of the UK’s visa regime. Travellers with visas from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US or an Irish biometric visa will not require UK transit visas (even if not travelling directly to or from those countries). Furthermore, the Schengen Approved Destination Status Visa will be extended- this is intended to allow around 210,000 Chinese a year to travel to the Schengen area via the UK without a visa.
The Airport Operators Association commented that the government should have gone further by reducing the prices of 5 and 10-year visas to a break-even figure (around 18- 25% of the current fees).
Also not satisfied was the International Airlines Group (owner of BA) who point to the larger numbers of Chinese visitors travelling to European countries over the UK.
Earlier this year the government decided to allow Chinese tourists to use the same website to apply for British and Schengen visas and agreed with China to increase the frequency of authorised return flights between the countries.
A large majority of Chinese Tour groups visiting Europe omit UK from their itinerary and this is largely thought to be a result of the fact that Britain remains outside the Schengen area and insists on what effectively amounts to a more burdensome visa system.
Note well, all those cynics who keep saying she hates all foreigners.