Birmingham Airport has lost out to Manchester Airport in securing direct scheduled flights to China, ITV News Central has learned.
The Chinese President will announce the deal today.
Birmingham Airport has been talking to Hainan Airlines for some time about starting a scheduled service but the airline has decided to go to Manchester.
ITV News Central's Business Correspondent Mark Gough explains:
The news comes after the Chancellor George Osborne told ITV News Central in February that it was important to "back the skills" in the Midlands as a key driver of economic growth in the UK.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Birmingham Airport said: